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Native American Leads Park Service
News Bytes 11/24/2021 94 Comments

The U.S. Senate has unanimously approved the nomination of Charles “Chuck” Sams III as National Park Service director. The appointment makes him the first Native American to lead the agency. Some conservationists are hailing Sams’ confirmation as a commitment to fair partnerships with tribes, the early stewards of the land.

Sams is Cayuse and Walla Walla. He lives on the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation in Oregon. There, he gained a reputation for being unflappable. He has worked in state and tribal governments and the nonprofit natural resource and conservation management fields for over 25 years.

“He is known for being steady at the helm and taking challenges in stride,” says Bobbie Conner, director of the Tamastslikt Cultural Institute on the 270-square-mile reservation.

Today, Sams is a member of the Northwest Power and Conservation Council, appointed by Oregon Governor Kate Brown. He has held several positions with the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, the Indian Country Conservancy, and other organizations.

During confirmation hearings, Sams noted his experience with nonprofit work, including facilitating land transfers and working with volunteers on conservation and invasive species management.

“I am deeply honored,” Sams says of the appointment. “I am also very deeply appreciative of the support, guidance, and counsel of my tribal elders and friends throughout my professional career.”

The National Park Service is part of the Interior Department. U.S. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, America’s first Native American Cabinet secretary, says Sams brings diverse experience to the job.

Kat Brigham, chair of the board of trustees of the Confederated Tribes, recalled Sams in the Columbia River as a young man. He was fishing for salmon while standing on a scaffold and using a net, according to tradition.

“It’s very exciting that we have a tribal member who’s first in history to be in charge of our National Park Service,” Brigham says. “He knows how important our land is. He knows that we need to protect our land, not only for today, but for our children’s children.”

Oregon Senator Ron Wyden describes Sams as a “role model in the stewardship of American land and waters, wildlife, and history.”

God takes stewardship seriously. He made Adam and Eve stewards of a beautiful garden. (Genesis 2:15) But their rebellion against the Creator caused thorns and weeds to grow. (Genesis 3:18) Worse yet, humans lost their righteousness before God (1 Corinthians 15:22) and brought a curse upon the whole Earth. (Genesis 3:16-19) Taking care of the God’s good gifts is a worthy endeavor—so long as the Creator is worshipped instead of the creation! (Romans 1:25)

Sams’ confirmation means Congress and parkgoers will have a steady, experienced leader to rely on in the years ahead, Wyden says.

The National Park Service oversees more than 131,000 square miles of parks, monuments, battlefields, and other landmarks. It employs about 20,000 people in permanent, temporary, and seasonal jobs, according to its website.

Joel Dunn, president and CEO of the Maryland-based Chesapeake Conservancy, celebrates the news. He points to the forced migration of indigenous peoples that led to the creation of America’s public lands, including national parks. “As our country works to address those past tragedies,” he says, “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.”

Sams says it is important to work with Native Americans on traditional ecological knowledge “based on 10,000-plus years of management of those spaces to ensure that they’ll be here for future generations to enjoy.”

(The Grand Canyon National Park is covered in morning sunlight as seen from a helicopter near Tusayan, Arizona. AP/Julie Jacobson)

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Most recent comments

@Above (or technically on the previous page) (51st comment!)

To everyone who read my Rittenhouse story: Wow. Good job! XD
@Kiara & Riley- You're welcome, it was a pleasure to write! I'm glad you got to hear it somewhere! And Riley, I'm glad you agree with me. Unfortunately, if you look up Rittenhouse Trial Reactions on YouTube, you can see that too many people in our country wanted him to go to jail for murder. They wanted it so bad that they made fools out of themselves in public.

@Addie L

Some people are so stupid and uninformed that they didn't even know what the case was actually about. There were a lot of people who thought that the men shot by Rittenhouse were black.

@Asher E

I would say they were only stupid if they went out and gave their opinion without looking into the details. I thought that they were black too when I first heard about it, but then I asked my dad if they were and he laughed and said something along the lines of: "Surprisingly, no."
In some people's defense, the media purposefully blew up the fact that he killed people and didn't specify the actual races/backstory/context of the "victims". When someone is called a white supremacist, you automatically assume that the victim is black, and Kyle was called a white supremacist many times. (Who knows why. I suppose because he owns a gun. The nerve of that man to do something constitutional...) (Btw, how many people who support CRT actually like the constitution? I estimate zero, but you know, they're still living here, so I could be wrong. I find it mind-boggling that people believe [or pretend to believe] that the solution to our problems is to go against the one document that's kept us going for 240 years or so.)

What the Bible says

“Thou shalt not kill” (even if someone is chasing you)
“Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor “ (even if every one else says he is big bad and evil) I like the reaction of this off topic topic ! No giant debates . No fighting . Good job people!

@Franz

Yes, the Bible does say "Thou shalt not kill", but I think there is a line between killing just for killing, and killing for self defense and protection of your country. There were times that God Himself told His people to go out to war on other people, and He helped them in those wars. God told them pretty much to kill other people. So let me ask you, do you believe that we should not have a military, or that in the Rittenhouse case, Kyle should not have shot in self defense, and that he should have let those others shoot their guns at him? I think that if they had shot him, it would be murder. Kyle was shooting out of self defense.

@ Riley D

Yes, God did tell them to fight other nations but, it was because God told them to and ,that was in the Old Testament we are living in the New Testament and The Bible does not say kill in self Defence. Here is what Jesus said “ye have heard that it hath been said an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth but I say unto you love your enemies do good to those that hate you”

@Franz R

We've had this discussion before. The commandment says and I quote "You shall not murder". Kyle Rittenhouse did not murder anybody.

@Addie L

Holy cow, what a mess! That's what that was about... Sounds almost too crazy to be true, eh?

@Hesperus

Right? I can't believe it was that big of a deal. It just shows how far from reason we have strayed.
@Franz- Sometimes you have to pick the lesser evil. Kill or be killed. Kyle didn't go out thinking, "I'm gonna go bust some heads" and he wasn't shooting to kill, he was shooting to stop a threat. These people were threats not just to him, but to the general public. And yes, we've done well in staying cool! :)

60th Comment

Yeah I defining think he did the right thing because even though he killed people, he wasn't trying to murder them, like I mean if some one was chasing you and hitting you on the head with a skateboard and had you on the ground what would you do? And I'm just thinking how terrible he must feel, killing that many people!
Also the thing is when Binger held the gun pointing it at the judge, nobody noticed!!! How stupid can people be!

@Franz

So, tell me if I am not understanding you right, but if you had been in Kyle Rittenhouse's place, you would have let the other guys kill you, because you do not believe in self defense?

@Franz

Another question to add on to Riley's,
Is it just guns you would not use self defense for, or are you opposed to all forms of self defense, such as martial arts?
I don't know if you are actually opposed to guns, as you have not answered Riley's question, if you are not, please disregard the first half of my question, as I am not looking to offend you

If this helps guys, I've read

If this helps guys, I've read someone say something like "guns are tools." Which completely makes sense. Let's just be ridiculous and say I killed someone with...Idk, a tow strap. Could be done. Don't know why I would, but whatever. Role with it. So, what, tow straps are evil now? In the first place, you're gonna make a lot of dudes with big trucks mad. Lol. In the second place, that's just dumb! So, now no tow straps are allowed? Same with guns. Only difference is, guns are much better for defending your personage and property, and the people trying to ban them don't like that. Oh, and yeah, guns aren't very good at pulling things out of the mud... There's that little difference, too, but don't get sidetracked!!

@Hesperus

You're absolutely right.

@Hesperus D

True

@Hesperus D.

No, the difference is that tow straps have utility outside of killing. A gun's only purpose is to kill and injure. Trying to compare them like they're the same thing is intellectually dishonest.

@Zack

While a tow strap may not have been the best example, guns are tools. Hammers, scissors, and even a pencil could be used for self defense, but, like Hesperus said, they are not as effective. And in response to you saying a gun was meant to kill, while that is true, one of the original purposes of a gun was hunting animals, which God gave humans dominance over every living thing (Genesis 1:28). I do agree with you that in the last idk 60ish years, maybe even earlier, guns have been used for hunting by the general public much less, and have been used as a weapon much more.

@Sarah F

I'm not sure what your point is? There are lots of things like knives, hammers, and cars that are a lot more dangerous than a tow rope, but like a tow rope they all have utility outside of killing so they belong in the same category.
Also, I guarantee you that the gun as we know it was developed as a weapon to kill other people. Hunting came afterwards. And even if guns were used only in hunting, that wouldn't change the fact that their only purpose is to injure and kill.

@Zack

You're right, I wasn't very clear. however, I'm not really sure what to say, because I guess view guns as protection and a Constitutional right, when you say they are to injure and kill. So we have different opinions, and I doubt either of us is going to change our mind.

@Zack W

Are you saying that guns kill people?
If you are then you're wrong. People kill people.
People have been killing each other from the very beginning long before guns were around, and even if you take guns away they still kill each other. Just look at Britain, they don't have guns yet they have similar if not higher murder numbers than the US.
Guns are not the problem.

@Guys

@Asher E the Bible says thou shalt not kill even in hebrew law if killed by accident you were guilty
@Addie L you would be committing a sin to save your self?you shouldn’t try to commit sins which brings me to my next point which is That killing in self defense is selfish. humans are equal as you know so killing the other guy so he doesn’t kill you is selfish..
@Riley D again self defense is selfish putting your life over another is unfair. Of course Jesus is a good example .when Jesus visited his home town of Nazareth the people were enraged at him claiming to be the son of God they carried him to the edge of a cliff intending to kill him but then he just walked away . He didn’t blind them all or wither all their hands just walked away.
@ Sarah F just read above no I am opposed to guns just self defense
.Thank you for not offending me ….

@Asher E.

"Do nuclear weapons kill people? No. People kill people. It wouldn't make a difference if everyone was allowed to buy nuclear weapons, murder is always going to happen anyway. This is why I think nuclear weapons should be legal for everyone."
Can you find any flaws in this argument? Please tell me what you disagree with.

@Asher E.

On a more serious note, what you're trying to say about Britain is a blatant lie.
The UK murder rate is noticeably lower than the US rate, and in urban areas where most gun violence happens it's way lower.

@ Asher E

Where did you get the information that Britain has a similar murder rate? Like the source?

@Franz R

Thank you for explaining, I think I understand your views now. But just think for a minute about what would happen if everyone had the same views as you. If everyone but the "bad guys" were opposed to self-defense, then we would most likely all be killed, and the world would fall to pieces, right? And the whole thing about Jesus just walking away, well, I don't think any human could do that. We have to remember that Jesus is God, and that was a miracle. There were tons and tons of people, all pushing him to a cliff. A normal human could not get through all those angry people.

@Mirela J

I honestly can't remember, I looked it up in the spring of this year.

@Franz

Let's say you're a dad. If someone kills you, your family will suffer and possibly die as well. A man is threatening to kill you, and you have a gun. Are you going to let this man kill you? If you die, the man could either kill your family or take their stuff and leave them to suffer without you. You can either shoot him, or avoid killing someone and die, leaving your family to fatherlessness.
I'm NOT saying that you should aim to kill people if they are attacking you. Stopping the threat is enough. Are you saying you would choose to die so that the person attacking you can go on to hurt others and stuff?
Self-defense is not *trying* to commit a sin. When you're defending yourself, you're not thinking, "heheh, I'm gonna kill this person because I want to kill somebody because killing people is great." you're thinking, "This person is about to hurt me. I must stop them. How do I stop them? I will shoot them somewhere. (Not necessarily kill them.)"
I understand and appreciate that you're trying to apply God's law to this. I really think that self-defense is a very important part of our nation and doesn't oppose God's law. I think when the Bible says "Thou shalt not kill" it's saying you shouldn't murder. Some versions say murder. Murder is more specific because it implies a premeditated, malicious action. Self-defense doesn't involve someone thinking, "I hate this person and want to kill them." It involves thinking, "How can I avoid being killed by this person?"
Let me put it this way: Do you want to die?
I doubt you do, even though you probably believe in Jesus. I for one would like to stay on earth a little longer, and would defend myself if I could.
What if the person being attacked was a non-believer? Would you want them to die and go to hell because they couldn't defend themself? The person attacking doesn't have to die.
Put in a purely political perspective, outlawing self-defense is impractical. You lose lives because murderers find ways to get guns regardless of the laws. If self-defense was outlawed, guns would have to be outlawed as well. For the government as well as the people. The government needs guns to protect our country from enemies. But they also use guns in bad ways, like making us pay taxes. (But that's a discussion for another time.) So we need guns to protect ourselves from an overreaching government. (If that *cough* was ever something *cough* we needed to worry about. *cough*cough* *wink*)
So, if you still hold your opinion about self-defense (which you probably do) then this is all I have left to say: I want you to put yourself honestly in the place of the father of a family in the situation I described earlier and think if you would prefer to live and kill or to die and let the murderer kill your family. Two hard choices, but I know which one I would pick.

@Zack

I would just like to point out that nuclear weapons are purely for murder, while guns are also used for other things. Nukes can't really be a hobby or ANYTHING useful besides massacre-causing. Guns are used for hobbies like hunting and collecting.
Would you like to be in your house with an armed robber and have nothing to defend yourself with? I sure wouldn't.
I think saying that it's the weapon's fault that the murder happened is wrong because the human was the one who chose to kill the person. Guns are easily misused.
I say it's fine for people to own nukes as long as they make them themselves. ;D

@Addie L

Is that last sentence... a joke?
Sorry if I'm being dumb here but it feels like there are so many people with insane positions on this website it's better to just ask and make sure.

@Zack W

Ha! Yeah! There are a lot of people with insane positions here!
And I was absolutely, completely serious. ;D ;D

^

I forgot to say, I actually WASN'T completely serious about the "making it themselves" part. But the rest? Yeah. Totally. ;D

@Addie L and Zack W

Y'all are talking about guns and nuclear weapons. What I don't understand is why people just own nukes. Why are people allowed them? what can they do with them? I mean, other than hurting things. Also yeah guns can be misused a lot. It is the person who decides to kill the other person. But in the perspective of hunting, it is different. Yes, hunting is still killing, and I am not a fan of hunting just for fun and to kill, but if you are actually hunting for food, then great! God gave us dominion over the animals so that we can kill and eat them. (Thank goodness or else we would all be vegetarians!!!! )
@Zack W: So, I am a little confused, Are you for or against the self-defense thing?

@Riley D

Oh, I don't think people should USE nukes! I just think they should own them if they feel like it.
And I think Zack is for self-defense, but against guns.

@Zack W

OK, I can see your point. But. Guess what's totally dishonest. Removing people's right to defend themselves. I mean, you get down to it, this is private property we're talking about. I get it if someone has a hard time getting a firearm because they're a felon. Yeah! They made some dumb choices, so that makes sense they wouldn't be trusted. The average American? Look, I've heard about someone who pointed out, "you know, you never hear about mass shootings at a gun show, do you?" He has a point! If Bill the Baddy is out to pop some people, he would be more inclined to do so if he knew they couldn't shoot back. But if Bill the Baddy knows that at LEAST two or three people are gonna get him, do you think he'll do it?

@Zack W

XD Nuclear weapons, dude. OK, in the first place, if I had the choice between giving a villain a .25 caliber popgun and a small nuclear device... Yeah. Pretty obvious. Look, from what I'm seeing, you don't like guns cuz they hurt people. OK. Fair enough. But... what do you do when someone breaks into your house...and he has a gun...and you do not? Break out that silverware, bro! XD. But, uh, that's still going to, uh, kill and maim, yes? So...let him shoot you? Not to sound like a complete jerk, cuz I'm not trying to be, but do you see what I mean?

@Addie L

So then why should they own them if they shouldn't use them? I think that such a dangerous weapon should be reserved for military use only, such as to end WWII.

@Riley D

Well, I don't think they should own them so much as I think they should be able to own them if they want to.
For the record, I think that nuking Hiroshima and Nagasaki was a terrible, dumb, heartless, and altogether unpresidential thing for Truman to do. Just downright stupid. I can go into that if you'd like, but I'd much rather talk about how we should be able to own nukes.

@Addie L

...um...why? I'm curious about your thoughts on that.

@Addie L

So now I am not as much interested in why you think people should own nukes, but more interested in why you think that dropping atomic bombs in Japan was "a terrible, dumb, heartless, and altogether unpresidential thing for Truman to do. Just downright stupid." Because I have a feeling that we are on opposite sides of this thought, and another kind debate would be fun.

@Riley

Well, for one, why would we nuke civilians? They weren't the ones deciding to go to war. If we must nuke someone, let's nuke the army. Maybe I shouldn't have said "unpresidential" because it's kind of his job to decide to nuke someone.
Second, the only reason it was dropped was to show Russia that we weren't backing down. Sure, that's a fine message to send during a war, but Japan's army was wrecked and Japan itself was isolated. I think a different approach could have been taken.
Terrible, dumb, and stupid because, in my opinion, it made Truman look ruthless. Heartless because we bombed civilians.

@Addie L

We also dropped the bomb to put an end to the war. Enough lives had been lost already, and true, there were lots of people killed when we dropped the bombs, but then who knows? The war could have gone on a lot longer after that and even more people be killed anyway. I think it would also have been hard to drop it on the army, seeing that the army at that point was probably pretty spread out. By dropping it on two of their largest cities, they were telling the Japanese "Stop messing with us."
As for the president being ruthless . . . we do have to remember he was probably under a lot of strain and pressure. Being the president of a country that is at war is probably one of the hardest jobs there is. His choices were probably either to drop the bombs and put an end to the war, or else continue fighting for who knows how long, and lose more soldiers on both sides.
And the last point: We have forgiven each other. Japan and America are on good friendly terms. If we wanted to hold grudges, we could, but both sides have decided to forgive, and not forget. Not forget, meaning by putting up monuments to remember, but not to still be mad at each other.

@Riley

I think the main problem with trying to argue about this (and other problems, like the New Deal, which I also think was bad; worse, even, than this, which I now see that I exaggerated about) is we don't know what would have happened had we not done it. It's still really interesting to discuss it though!
I should look into this more, but I can't help but think there was a better option. Sure, pressure was intense during this time, but that by no means gives the president an excuse. There are hardly ever just two choices.
Something else: The second bomb dropped on Japan was dropped only 3 days after the first. I read in a book recently that this seemed to suggest that the US was in a hurry to bomb them again before they surrendered.
Last thing: I do regret my harsh language regarding this earlier. Even if I really do feel that way about it, if you can't see my face as you're reading those words, it makes it much harder to know exactly what I meant. I'm also a notorious exaggerator... So, I apologize for using such emphatic language. How I really feel about it is more like: I think the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was a very sad and terrible thing. I find it very hard to believe that it was the only choice.

@Addie L

I feel the same way as you do regarding the part that bombing Hiroshima and Nagasaki was sad and terrible, but I still think that it was the best thing we could do to end the war. I am glad to hear your side of the story! We are all entitled to our own opinions.
About debating the New Deal, I am not going to try to, because I am not very informed about it yet.

@Addie L

Well, in the first place, Japan was given the chance to surrender. Since they wouldn't, it looked like we were gonna have to storm Japan. That. Would've cost a TON of American lives. So, in doing so, Truman was preserving American lives, which. is. his. job. (Somebody tell that to Biden plz) Plus, if I heard correctly, the Japanese would've committed MASS suicide, having heard about all the terrible things that those horrible Americans would do to them. They did it, in some places.

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