American Samoa National Park is Samoan Land

American Samoa

{American Samoa National Park originally posted by @usinterior} Unlike much public land in the U.S., if you visit the National Park of the American Samoa, it is almost impossible to not know that you are on Samoan (Tagata Māo’i) Land. Why is this? Because this land is owned by the Samoan people and only leased by the U.S. Federal Government! This is an example of how indigenous/settler partnerships might work in other places to protect the environment and allow people to enjoy it without erasing indigenous culture or removing indigenous people from their homes. I’m not saying everything is perfect. Among other things, the Samoans are still under colonial rule from the U.S., as a territory don’t even have official representation in Congress, this photo still represents Samoa as a natural paradise rather than a cultural space, and there are always challenges when a culture becomes part of the tourist attraction for non-indigenous visitors. But it is at least a glimpse at another way of approaching and reinterpreting what we mean by “Public Land” - another model to critique, engage with, and build upon. #publiclandisnativeland

If you know more about the relationship between the Samoa people and the Federal Government around public land issues, please share!