Winnebago Tribal Historic Preservation Department


The Winnebago Tribal Historic Preservation Office advises Federal agencies on the management of Tribal historic properties and strive to preserve the Tribes' cultural heritage and preservation programs. 

The Tribal Historic Preservation Officer (THPO) works in tribal communities to offer cultural and heritage tourism,
especially to the state's citizens, including operating tribal museums, archives, and research departments.


Thinking about Digging on Tribal Land?

Please contact the WINNEBAGO TRIBAL HISTORIC PRESERVATION OFFICE for details on the application process.


Downloadable Documents

  • THPO - Permit Application - Download
  • CRPC Resolution - Download
  • THPO - Cultural Resource Protection Permit - Download
  • WTN Government to Government Policy - Download


Please contact Sunshine Thomas-Bear at the Winnebago Tribal Historic Preservation Office for more information:



Sunshine Thomas-Bear

Tribal Historic Preservation Officer (THPO) + Cultural Preservation Director




Ben Crawford

NAGPRA Assistant



Jordann Blackfish

THPO + NAGPRA Assistant + Repatriation Coordinator











What is a Tribal Historic Preservation Officer (THPO)?

In accordance with the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA), a Tribal Historic Preservation Officer (THPO) is the designated tribal preservation official of a federally recognized Indian Tribe. A THPO is responsible for the administration of any or all of the functions of a State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO) with respect to tribal land.


What is meant by the term "tribal land"?

Tribal land, as defined by the NHPA, means all lands within the exterior boundaries of any Indian reservation and all dependent Indian communities.


What are a THPO's duties?

A THPO performs the duties associated with the historic preservation functions the tribe has assumed under their program plan.

The most common functions assumed by THPOs include, but are not limited to:

  • administering Federal assistance for tribal historic preservation 
  • advising and assisting Federal and state agencies and local governments in carrying out their historic preservation responsibilities
  • consulting with Federal agencies on Federal undertakings that may affect tribal historic properties and on any plans to protect, manage, reduce, or mitigate harm to such properties
  • cooperating with the Secretary of the Interior, the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, and other Federal and state agencies, local governments, organizations, and individuals to ensure that tribal historic properties are taken into consideration at all levels of planning and development
  • identifying and nominating properties to the National Register of historic Places, administering applications for listing in the National Register; preparing and implementing an historic preservation plan
  • providing public information, education and training, and technical assistance in historic preservation
  • surveying and inventorying tribal historic properties
  • THPOs may also perform Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) and Archeological Resources Protection Act (ARPA) enforcement related duties 



The Winnebago Tribal Historic Preservation Office is located within the Angel De Cora Museum at 601 East College Dr. at the Thunder Clan Building.

Many of the preservation focuses are intersected with the Angel De Cora Museum, and any found items may be donated or repatriated. 


 Click the link below to view museum webpage: