First Native American confirmed as head of National Park Service

National & World News

FILE – The Grand Canyon National Park is covered in the morning sunlight as seen from a helicopter near Tusayan, Ariz., on Oct. 5, 2013. The U.S. Senate has unanimously approved the nomination of Charles “Chuck” Sams III as National Park Service director, which will make him the first Native American to lead the agency that oversees more than 131,000 square miles of parks and other landmarks. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson, File)

SALEM, OR (Associated Press) — The U.S. Senate has unanimously approved the nomination of Charles “Chuck” Sams III as National Park Service director, which will make him the first Native American to lead the agency that oversees more than 131,000 square miles of parks and other landmarks.

Some conservationists hailed Sams’ confirmation as a commitment to equitable partnership with tribes, the original stewards of the land.

Sams told the Confederated Umatilla Journal that he’s deeply honored.

Sams has said he would work to ensure that Indigenous history of National Park Service lands is included.

Sams is Cayuse and Walla Walla and lives on the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation in Oregon.

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