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.
Interior Indian Affairs Official Speaks on Indigenous Rights at United Nations
Office of the Secretary
NEW YORK, NY — Donald “Del” Laverdure, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Indian Affairs, today addressed the United Nations on U.S. support for the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. He emphasized that President Obama holds his Administration to a high standard of action on Native American issues.
Laverdure's remarks at the Tenth Session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues followed a statement at Monday's opening session by Kimberly Teehee, Senior Policy Advisor for Native American Affairs in the Domestic Policy Council at the White House. Laverdure's appearance represented the first time that an Interior official has spoken at this forum.
Teehee, a member of the Cherokee Nation, and Laverdure, a member of the Crow Nation, both emphasized President Obama's statement when he announced U.S. support for the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples on December 16, 2010 at the second White House Tribal Nations Conference. “What matters far more than words -- what matters far more than any resolution or declaration – are actions to match those words,” the President stressed in the December announcement.
Laverdure reaffirmed that the United States is committed to actions that provide meaningful improvement to the lives of Native Americans. He wore his family headdress to commemorate President Obama's adoption by the Crow Nation.