Located 2,600 miles southwest of Hawaii, the National Park of American Samoa is the most remote unit of the National Park System and the U.S. National Park south of the Equator. The Park spreads across three islands, 9,500 acres of tropical rainforest, and 4,000 acres of ocean, including coral reefs. While remote, the islands of American Samoa, true to the meaning of the word Samoa (Islands of Sacred Earth), are welcoming and offer beautiful landscapes and centuries of culture and history.
Seasoned backpacker and adventurer Yang Lu earned the grand prize in the 2015 Share the Experience photo contest with this image of a sunburst captured at sunrise in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Utah. Yang has made the outdoors part of his daily life and finds deep connection to the land through his lens.
“My photography is not just for recreation, it is to inspire people to explore these areas." -- Yang Lu
Photo by Yang Lu (www.sharetheexperience.org).
The plantings of cherry trees originated in 1912 as a gift of friendship to the People of the United States from the People of Japan. In Japan, the flowering cherry tree, or "Sakura," is an exalted flowering plant. The beauty of the cherry blossom is a potent symbol equated with the evanescence of human life and epitomizes the transformation of Japanese culture throughout the ages.
Secretary Jewell Swears in Associate Commissioners of National Indian Gaming Commission
Secretary Jewell poses with Associate Commissioners Daniel Little and Jonodev Chaudhuri after the ceremony. Photo Credit: Tami Heilemann
Associate Commissioners Daniel Little and Jonodev Chaudhuri pose together after their swearing-in. Photo Credit: Tami Heilemann
Today, Secretary Jewell participated in a swearing in ceremony for Jonodev Chaudhuri (Muscogee Creek) and Daniel Little, Associate Commissioners for the National Indian Gaming Commission. Little previously served on the Commission, and was sworn in for a second three-year term. Chaudhuri was recently nominated by Secretary Jewell to join Little and outgoing Chairwoman, Tracie Stevens (Tulalip).
“Mr. Chaudhuri's extensive background and experience across a broad spectrum of Native American issues makes him highly qualified for this position,” said Secretary Jewell. “His perspective in legal affairs and organizational administration will enrich the Commission's deliberations and contribute to informed decisions that promote economic well-being for Indian country.”
Prior to joining the NIGC, Chaudhuri served as senior counselor to the Department of the Interior's Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs. In this position he focused on a wide range of national policy issues, including economic development, tribal recognition and Indian gaming. Chaudhuri also served as a judge on four different tribal courts including the Muscogee (Creek) Nation's highest court.
Chaudhuri graduated with a bachelor of arts degree from Dartmouth College and has a J.D. from Cornell Law School.
The National Indian Gaming Commission is committed to the prompt and efficient regulation of the Indian gaming industry, which spans more than 420 gaming establishments, associated with nearly 240 tribes across 28 states. The Commission's dedication to compliance with the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act ensures the integrity of the $27 billion Indian gaming industry. For more information, visit www.nigc.gov.