Senate confirms first Native American to lead National Park Service

 Senate confirms first Native American to lead National Park Service

The Senate this week confirmed Charles “Chuck” Sams III as head of the National Park Service, making him the first Native American to lead the agency.

Sams was confirmed late Thursday evening by voice vote, indicating unanimous support. President Joe Biden nominated him for the post in August.

Sams is Cayuse and Walla Walla and a member of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, with ties to the Yankton Sioux and Cocopah Peoples. He served in the Navy as an intelligence specialist before working in natural resource and conservation management.

“My personal history is deeply interwoven with the fabric of our shared American history,” he said during his Senate confirmation hearing in October.

Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, the first Native American Cabinet secretary, has said Sams would be an “incredible asset” to the agency.

The Biden administration has prioritized the protection and restoration of Native…

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