WASHINGTON, D.C—American Samoa Congresswoman Aumua Amata Coleman Radewagen expressed her pleasure to be invited to President Donald Trump’s executive order signing that would review the Antiquities Act. Due to the importance the order has for American Samoa, Radewagen was in attendance for the historic signing.
“I want to thank the President for his actions today. While well intended when first signed into law, the Antiquities Act had become a tool for previous administrations to control nonfederal lands and marine resources without input from the local populations,” said Amata. “These monument designations that have come at the behest of special interest groups, have often been extremely harmful to those who have traditionally utilized them, such as American Samoa. Among the monuments being considered are marine monuments in the Pacific, including the monument around American Samoa. If legislative action is necessary, I will take whatever action necessary to return our waters which have sustained us long before our relationship with America. Our people have been cut off from access to regions of the Pacific that we have fished for over a millennium. I look forward to the corresponding actions that will come as a result of this review, and getting our fishermen back on the waters that have sustained us long before any relationship with the United States.” continued Radewagen.
The review will specifically examine the designations made over the past 20 years, and will seek to rectify the lack of input from local leadership that has plagued the Act for far too long. Further actions are expected as a result of the review.
“I want to once again thank President Trump for his keen insight in examining this issue that is so important to American Samoa, and I look forward to continuing to work with his administration and correct this long standing issue that has caused so much harm. I also want to thank Chairman Bishop for joining me on a letter that we sent to the President earlier this year regarding the issue,” concluded the congresswoman. (PR)