Established in response to the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the American Samoa Historic Preservation Office (ASHPO) identifies, evaluates, registers, interprets and protects American Samoa's historic and cultural properties, from star mounds to shipwrecked vessels. The ASHPO provides communities and preservation organizations with a variety of services, and maintains an inventory of historic properties. It also reviews nominations to the National Register of Historic Places and oversees sites on that register. Under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, the ASHPO reviews all Federal undertakings for impacts on historic properties.
It is the responsibility of the American Samoa Historic Preservation Officer to administer the Territorial Historic Preservation Program. American Samoa's strong indigenous culture and traditional system of communal land ownership impose special conditions of cultural sensitivity upon such an endeavor. A primary concern of the ASHPO is to fulfill its responsibilities in a manner that recognizes and honors these inherent cultural conditions.
In addition, the ASHPO sees itself as a service organization, working in partnership with Federal and Territorial agencies, village and district councils, private organizations and individuals to assist in compliance with applicable Federal and Territorial historic preservation laws and to raise the community's consciousness about historic preservation and its role in cultural maintenance. Specific areas of responsibility in the administration of the Territorial Historic Preservation Program include:
conducting an on-going comprehensive site identification of historic properties in the Territory and maintaining an inventory of such properties;
identifying and nominating eligible properties to the National Register of Historic Places;
advising and assisting Federal and Territorial agencies in carrying out their historic preservation responsibilities;
consulting with appropriate Federal agencies on all undertakings that may affect historic properties in order to protect, manage, reduce or mitigate harm to such properties;
ensuring that historic properties are taken into consideration at all levels of planning and development;
providing public information, education and training, and technical assistance in historic preservation.
In order to fulfill these mandates in a manner appropriate to the special conditions with which we are faced here in American Samoa, a comprehensive historic preservation plan has been designed to address individual problem areas within the Program and to set specific objectives toward the goal of alleviating those problems. Input from the American Samoa Historical Commission and from the public garnered from annual public meetings have been incorporated into the plan. A realistic time frame for meeting those objectives inside a five-year planning cycle is provided with the plan. The plan is available to the public upon request.
The Director and her staff welcome your contributions to the upkeep of Samoa's historic buildings and cultural sites.
This website has been financed in part with funds provided by the Historic Preservation Office of the Executive Offices of the Governor, American Samoa Government, through a grant from the U.S. National Park Service, Department of the Interior. However, the contents and opinions do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Department of the Interior.
This program received Federal funds from the National Park Service. Regulations of the Department of the Interior strictly prohibit unlawful discrimination in departmental federally assisted programs on the basis of race, color, national origin, age or handicap. Any person who believes he or she has been discriminated against in any program, activity, or facility operated by a recipient of Federal assistance should write to:
Director, Equal Opportunity Program
Department of the Interior
National Park Service
P.O. Box 37127
Washington, DC 20240-0036