Rights Protection


Our Department

The Rights Protection Office is to gather information through fieldwork in the disciplines of history and archeology by conducting combination of collecting data through online records and internet research gathering information from oral traditions, reports, artifacts, and technology such as Geologic Information Systems and Global Positioning Systems.  We are obligated to preserve and protect our heritage by the Preservation and Protection of all resources existing on the Santa Clara Indian Reservation and outlying ancestral and aboriginal boundaries.  By the conservation of the resources, we will enable the future of Santa Clara Pueblo to have better physical access to their history and culture and will ensure protection of all resources.  That continues to play a major role as tangible heritage for the Santa Clara Pueblo people.  


Director, Ben Chavarria

Assume all responsibilities and duties for all resources and historic preservation on Santa Clara Pueblo tribal lands. These include conducting a comprehensive survey of tribal historic properties and maintaining inventory of such properties, preparing and implementing a tribal wide historic preservation plan, and assisting federal agencies in Section 106 review of undertakings on tribal lands.   Serve as an official representative of the tribe/pueblo to represent its interests as a consulting party in Section 106 on issues of importance to pueblo off the reservation. Establish goals, objectives, and strategic plans to identify, protect, and acquire land in accordance with the mission of Santa Clara Pueblo.  Achieve financial objectives, prepare and maintain budgets, supervising the preparation of funding applications.  Analyzes reports to evaluate program effectiveness and budgetary needs.   Maintains staff job results through effective supervision, coaching, counseling, planning, and monitoring of employees.  Contributes to a team effort by accomplishing related results as required.  NAGPRA Oversight.  Water Rights Litigation and Negotiation.

Administrative Assistant, Nakia Casiquito

Responsible for implementing administrative systems, procedures, and policies and monitoring administrative projects. Maintaining records for cultural inventory, section 106 correspondence, land and water issues for Santa Clara Pueblo.  Creates and revises systems and procedures by analyzing operating practices, recordkeeping systems, forms control, office layout, and budgetary and personnel requirements.  Assists Director and THPO on various duties in order to complete all projects and processes in a timely manner.  Completing preventive maintenance requirements, repair, maintaining equipment inventories, and evaluating new equipment and techniques.  Database and File maker of all documents for Rights Protection and THPO.

Water Coordinator, Jude Chavarria

Protection of land, water natural resources.  Researches issues affecting tribal land and water rights including timber sales and management activity, livestock grazing permits, mining activity, recreational use, archaeological and cultural site use, hunting use, road and right-of-way’s, and public works projects.  Develops and maintains filing and retrieval systems of administrative correspondence, daily reports, and all documentation pertaining to land and water rights.  Responsible for creating and maintaining Water Committee Board for Santa Clara Pueblo and holding meetings to update them on water related issues for Santa Clara Pueblo.   Water Rights Litigation and Negotiation.  Land Purchase, Grazing permits and exchange.  Past and Present Land use.

Land and Cultural Resources, Danny Naranjo

Under general direction, preserves the culture, history and resources of Santa Clara Pueblo through the identification, protection,  acquisition or reclamation of ancestral land, water and cultural resources.  Assures that Santa Clara Pueblo lands and cultural resources are preserved by identifying and monitoring all activities on and adjacent to aboriginal lands. Researches issues affecting tribal land and cultural resources including timber sales and management activity, livestock grazing permits, mining activity, recreational use, archaeological and cultural site use, hunting use, road and right-of-way, and public works projects.  Assists the Director to establish goals, objectives, and plans to support the mission of Santa Clara Pueblo land and cultural resources.  Develops and keeps filling and retrieval system of administrative correspondence, daily reports, and all documentation pertaining to land and cultural resources.  Archive and Database.

Cultural and Water Resources Field Leader, Isaac Gutierrez

To provide surveys and assessments throughout the Santa Clara Pueblo reservation grant boundary documenting cultural resources significant to the Pueblo. Downloading and transferring GIS data from GPS units, creating maps using ArcGIS Pro, and other GIS applicable software.  Participating in ethnographic studies off the reservation which provide the protection and documentation of ancestral sites and traditional cultural properties relevant to the Pueblo of Santa Clara. Organizing meetings with the Pueblo’s Cultural and Water committees to initiate recommendations given to the Office of Rights Protection/THPO on projects involving the Pueblo.  Consulting with multiple federal, state, and local agencies to ensure the up most protection of cultural and natural resources significant to the Pueblo.

Archivist, Lanaiya Chavarria

Enable the Santa Clara Pueblo to preserve the culture, history and resources through the identification, protection, acquisition and reclamation of cultural resources by preserving and managing all historical collections such as manuscripts, books, photographs, architectural drawings, recordings, and other historical material related to the Pueblo of Santa Clara. Other essential duties involve analyzing records throughout the department, engaging in extensive research regarding cultural aspects of the Pueblo of Santa Clara. Lastly, working closely with projects such as the Navajo Gallup Supply Project, focusing on  and the Youth Conservation Corps annually.



  • Youth Conservation Corps (YCC)
  • Bandelier National Monument Field Crew
  • Water Rights Negations and Adjudication
  • Picnic Area and Shelter(s)

Tribal Historic Preservation Officer (THPO)

In 1992, the U.S. Congress adopted amendments to the National Historic Preservation Act (P.L. 102-575) that allow federally recognized Indian tribes to take on more formal responsibility for the preservation of significant historic properties on Tribal lands. Specifically, Section 101(d)(2) allows Tribes to assume any or all of the functions of a State Historic Preservation Officer with respect to Tribal land. The decision to participate or not participate in the program rests with the Tribe.

In October of 2014, the Santa Clara Pueblo Tribal Historic Preservation Office (THPO) was officially established.  We have formally assumed responsibility for a number of functions aimed at the preservation of historic and traditional cultural properties.  Those functions include identifying and maintaining inventories of culturally significant properties, nominating properties to registers of historic places, conducting Section 106 reviews of Federal agency projects on Santa Clara Pueblo lands, and generally ensuring that Tribal and Federal preservation laws are correctly implemented on our lands, including federally-mandated archaeological clearances.



  • Cultural Resource Management Plan (CRMP)
  • Implementation of standalone server
  • Section 106 Review and Response
  • Cultural Resource Data Base
  • Santa Clara Pueblo Cultural Heritage Center
  • Chaco Heritage Tribal Association – Chaco Study
  • Navajo Gallup Water Supply Project – Ethnographic Study