Chesapeake Conservancy Applauds the Confirmation of NPS Director Charles F. Sams III
Confirmation of Charles Sams Is a Historic Achievement for Indigenous Peoples in the United States and for the National Park Service
Annapolis, MD – Last night, the United States Senate confirmed Charles “Chuck” F. Sams III as the director of the National Park Service. A citizen of the Confederated Tribes of Umatilla Indian Reservation, Sams is the first Native American to lead the National Park Service and is the first permanent director of the department since 2017.
Chesapeake Conservancy President and CEO Joel Dunn celebrated the Senate’s confirmation of Chuck Sams as director of the National Park Service.
“America’s national parks are central to our nation and having a confirmed steward to lead the National Park Service is very important. This has been a historic year for the U.S. Department of the Interior, with the confirmation of Secretary Deb Haaland as the first Native American cabinet secretary of the United States and now the confirmation of Chuck Sams as the first Native American to serve as director of the National Park Service.
“The hard truth for conservationists is that much of America’s public lands, including many of its iconic national parks, were created through the forced migration of Indigenous peoples. The impacts of those terrible policies have been generational and continue to challenge Indigenous communities today. As our country works to address those past tragedies, it is appropriate that the leadership of the National Park Service and the Department of the Interior reflect a new direction and a commitment to equitable partnership with the Indigenous peoples of the United States.
“The National Park System provides the opportunity to bring people together, to tell powerful stories of our shared history, our incredible nature and wildlife, and our rich and diverse cultures. The role of parks in bringing people together, and the need for an inclusive park experience, is more important than ever. This is an opportunity to expand the National Park System in places like the Chesapeake Bay to increase access for everyone to the great outdoors.
“Chesapeake Conservancy is a proud partner of the National Park Service in the Chesapeake Bay. We look forward to supporting Chuck Sams in his efforts to protect America’s treasured places and to make our national parks more inclusive for the many diverse communities across the United States.”