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.
Salazar, Jarvis Announce $1.66 Million in Grants Under Native American Graves and Repatriation Act
WASHINGTON -- Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis today announced that the National Park Service is awarding $1,663,382 in grants to assist Native American tribes, Alaska Native villages and museums with implementation of the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA), which assists in the return of human remains and cultural objects to their native people.
“Returning cultural items to their inheritors and human beings to their descendants so they may be interred with dignity is unequivocally the right thing to do,” Secretary Salazar said. “With these grants, I am pleased that we are continuing to take steps to right a historic wrong.”
“The Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act is one of the most important tools we have to address violations of human rights against native nations, individuals and their ancestors,” said Director Jarvis. “I am proud that the National Park Service plays a key role in implementing this policy of protection for American Indian and Native Hawaiian peoples and culture.”
Of the total Fiscal Year 2012 grant allocations, the Park Service is awarding $1,559,888 to 21 recipients for projects to support the efforts of museums, Indian tribes and Native Hawaiian organizations in the documentation of NAGPRA-related objects (consultation/documentation grants), while the remaining $103,494 is going to 10 recipients for costs associated with the return of the remains and objects to their native people (repatriation grants).
Today's funding is in addition to FY12 grants announced in February that will assist in the repatriation of over 150 individuals and over 15,000 sacred objects, objects of cultural patrimony and funerary objects back to the tribes.
Enacted in 1990, NAGPRA requires museums and federal agencies to inventory and identify Native American human remains and cultural items in their collections, and to consult with culturally affiliated Indian tribes, Alaska Native villages and corporations, and Native Hawaiian organizations regarding the return of these objects to descendants or culturally affiliated tribes and other organizations. The Act also authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to award grants to assist in implementing provisions of the Act.
Projects funded by the grant program include consultations to identify and affiliate individuals and cultural items, training for both museum and tribal staff on NAGPRA, digitizing collection records for consultation, consultations regarding culturally significant unaffiliated individuals, as well as the preparation and transport of items back to their native people.
FY2012 NAGPRA Consultation Grant Recipients
Anthropological Studies Center, Sonoma State University
Arizona State Museum, University of Arizona
Ball State University
Bear River Band of Rohnerville Rancheria
Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture, University of Washington
Delaware Tribe of Indians
Denver Museum of Nature & Science
Dry Creek Rancheria Band of Pomo Indians
Fort Collins Museum of Discovery, City of Fort Collins
Museum of the American Indian
Museum of Natural History, University of Colorado
Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, Heritage Program
Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, Harvard University
Smith River Rancheria
State University of New York
University of Denver Museum of Anthropology
University of Montana, Office of Research and Sponsored Programs
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Subtotal – consultation grants
FY2012 NAGPRA Repatriation Grant Recipients
Cheyenne and Arapahoe Tribes
Pratt Museum (Homer Society of Natural History, Inc.)