Connecting with Native Americans


Providing information to American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians about the National Park Service Cultural Resources programs.




American Battlefield Protection Program

Memorial Column
Memorial Column, courtesy of the Tribal Preservation Program



The National Park Service’s (NPS) American Battlefield Protection Program (ABPP) promotes the preservation of significant historic battlefields associated with wars on American soil, which include the American Revolution, War of 1812, the Civil War, the French and Indian War, Seminole Wars, Creek War, Nez Perce War, and other battles where Native Americans were engaged. Battlefield preservation enables current and future generations to better understand the connection between military conflicts and important social and political changes that occurred in history.  Being a landowner of battlefield land or an advocate for battlefield preservation allows Native Americans the opportunity to tell the battle story in their own words and the story of how a battle and war still affects them today.  Battlefields are hallowed ground where not only Native Americans fought, but where many also died. 

The ABPP provides technical assistance to individuals, groups, organizations, or governments interested in preserving historic battlefield land and sites associated with battles.  This technical assistance includes consultation and guidance on land use, cultural resource and site management planning, and public education. 

The ABPP also manages two grant programs: grants to groups, institutions, organizations, or governments sponsoring preservation planning projects at historic battlefields; and grants to state and local governments seeking to acquire Civil War battlefield land. 

Battlefield Planning Grants
Once a year, the ABPP invites proposals for battlefield preservation projects. The program supports partnership projects that lead to the protection of battlefield land and sites associated with battles. Since 1990, the ABPP and its partners have helped protect battlefields associated with Indian Wars and Native American engagement by awarding 49 projects in 20 states. Federally recognized tribes, THPOs, Native Hawaiians, Alaska Natives, state and federally non-recognized groups, and non-profit organizations are welcome to apply. The ABPP encourages, but does not require, matching funds or in-kind services to these projects. The ABPP does not fund capital improvement projects. 

Types of projects that are eligible for this grant program include:

    • Historical research
    • Cultural resources surveys
    • National Register of Historic Places documentation and nominations
    • Archeological surveys
    • Condition assessments of battlefields and potential threats 
    • Site identification and mapping
    • Interpretation plans
    • Management, landscape, and stabilization plans
    • Local land use strategies for sensitive planning
    • Preservation plans
    • Technical assistance for organizations and governments needing help to protect battlefields
    • Public education

Sample of Previous Battlefield Planning Grants at Indian Wars battlefields

    • Grantee: South Carolina Research Foundation
      Project Title: Ackia and Ogoula Tchetoka: Defining Two 1736 Battlefields of the French-Chickasaw War, Tupelo, Mississippi
      State: MS
      Battlefield(s): Ackia and Ogoula Tchetoka
      War: French-Chickasaw War
      Amount: $38,120
      Fiscal Year: 2011
    • Grantee: Brown County Historical Society
      Project Title: Brown County Battlefields Inventory
      State: MN
      Battlefield(s): Milford and New Ulm
      War: U.S. - Dakota War of 1862
      Amount: $33,008
      Fiscal Year: 2010
    • Grantee: Frontier Heritage Alliance
      Project Title: Sitting Bull’s Fight with Col. Stanley (August 22, 1872) – Documentation and Mapping
      State: MT
      Battlefield: O’Fallen Creek Battlefield
      War: Great Sioux War
      Amount: $55,800
      Fiscal Year: 2008
    • Grantee: University of West Florida
      Project Title: Jackson’s 1818 Invasion of Florida
      State: FL
      Battlefield: Multiple
      War: First Seminole War
      Amount: $22,108
      Fiscal Year: 2006
    • Grantee: Mescalero Apache Tribe
      Project Title: Dark Canyon Apache/Third Calvary War Site Archeology Project
      State: NM
      Battlefield(s): Dark Canyon Rancheria Apache/Military Battle Site
      War: Apache Wars
      Amount: $5,400
      Fiscal Year: 1999

For more information on grant guidelines and application, visit the ABPP website.

Civil War Battlefield Land Acquisition Grant
The ABPP awards grants to state and local governments seeking to acquire battlefield land for perpetual preservation. Land at Civil War battlefields listed in the Civil War Sites Advisory Commission’s (CWSAC) 1993 Report on the Nation’s Civil War Battlefields is eligible for this grant program.  Civil War battlefields where Native Americans fought are eligible and some already have tracts permanently protected through this funding source. The Civil War Battlefield Land Acquisition Grant (CWBLAG) funding is made available from the Land and Water Conservation Fund and is awarded through a competitive grant process.  In any case where a non-profit or tribal organization (federally recognized tribes, THPOs, Native Hawaiians, Alaskan Native, state and federally non-recognized groups, and non-profit organizations focused on Native American issues) seeks to acquire battlefield land with assistance from this program, that organization must apply in partnership with a state or local government agency sponsor.  Each grant requires a dollar-for-dollar non-Federal match.  Grants are available to purchase land in fee simple or conservation/preservation easements.

Native American groups have yet to use this funding source directly.  ABPP encourages groups to identify significant battlefields and parcels for preservation and form partnerships with the ABPP and the local or state governments to prepare an application.

Eligible Civil War Battlefields where Native Americans were engaged for CWBLAG funding

    • Sand Creek, CO
    • Bear River, ID
    • Fort Ridgely, MN
    • Wood Lake, MN
    • Big Mound, ND
    • Dead Buffalo Lake, ND
    • Killdeer Mountain, ND
    • Stony Lake, ND
    • Whitestone Hill, ND
    • Cabin Creek, OK
    • Chustenahlah, OK
    • Chusto-Talasah, OK
    • Honey Springs, OK
    • Middle Boggy Depot, OK
    • Old Fort Wayne, OK
    • Round Mountain, OK

Previous CWBLAGs at Civil War Battlefields where Native Americans were engaged (Native American groups were not directly involved in the application or management of these grants).

    • Wood Lake, MN
      Grantee: Minnesota Historical Society
      Subgrantee: Civil War Trust
      Federal Amount: $70,250
      Leveraged Amount: $70,719
      Acreage: 240
      Type of purchase: Easement  
      Fiscal Year: 2011
    • Cabin Creek, OK
      Grantee: Oklahoma Historical Society
      Subgrantee: Civil War Trust
      Federal Amount: $128,000
      Leveraged Amount: $128,125
      Acreage: 42.7
      Type of purchase: Fee Simple
      Fiscal Year: 2011
    • Cabin Creek, OK
      Grantee: Oklahoma Historical Society
      Subgrantee: Civil War Trust
      Federal Amount: $58,000
      Leveraged Amount: $60,625
      Acreage: 43.8
      Type of purchase: Fee Simple
      Fiscal Year: 2011
    • Honey Springs, OK
      Grantee: Oklahoma Historical Society
      Federal Amount: $26,250
      Leveraged Amount: $52,500
      Acreage: 78.75
      Type of Purchase: Fee Simple
      Fiscal Year: 1998
    Contact Us
    Paul Hawke, Chief, at 202 354-1005 or Paul_Hawke@nps.gov
    Kristen McMasters, Grants Manager at 202-354-2037 or kristen_mcmasters@nps.gov
    Elizabeth Ries, Grants Management Specialist at 202-354-2215 or elizabeth_ries@nps.gov

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