Title:  American Samoa Historic Preservation Plan

Image: Cover of American Samoa Preservation Plan
American Samoa Preservation Plan
Number of Pages:  22
Approval Date:  August 9, 2002
Planning Cycle:  5 years

Contact Information:
John Enright
Historic Preservation Officer
Office of the Governor
American Samoa Government
Pago Pago, American Samoa 96799
011(684) 633-2384
fax 011 (684) 633-2367
[6 hours behind Eastern Standard Time] E-mail:enright@samoatelco.com

Mission/Vision Statement:
       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 raise the community's consciousness about historic preservation and its role in cultural maintenance.

Table of Contents:

    Goals and Objectives
    Time Frame

Public Participation Strategies:

  • Workplan published in newspapers;
  • Public meetings;
  • Advice sought from the American Samoa Historical Commission.

Other Plan Development Strategies:

  • Reviewed plans of other agencies.

Early Polynesian archaeological sites, fortifications, prehistoric and historic stone quarries, and village sites, star mounds, mission schools, historic districts, military sites from World War II; buildings, structures, sites, objects, historic and cultural landscapes, historic districts; schools, houses, government buildings, factories; wells, bridges, docks; traditional and legendary sites.


  • Historic resource inventory is incomplete;
  • Accurate GIS mapping is available for the Territory;
  • Need to preserve Samoan culture;
  • Insufficient public involvement in historic preservation;
  • Insufficient public awareness about historic preservation;
  • Little historical and documentary information available locally;
  • Large areas remain unsurveyed, yet Territory's size facilitates complete survey;
  • Citizens lack understanding of National Register benefits;
  • Insufficient funding available for historic preservation;
  • Educational opportunities in topics related to historic preservation are few;
  • Little historic property restoration takes place, limiting heritage tourism;
  • Historic properties poorly maintained.


  1. Increase opportunities for the public's participation in the historic preservation process.
  2. Increase historic preservation knowledge and awareness in the schools and among the general public.
  3. Improve knowledge of, and access to, documentary sources in Territorial and overseas repositories.
  4. Improve and maintain the survey of American Samoa's historic and prehistoric resources, especially those threatened by developmental activities, for use in planning, education, and public awareness.
  5. To increase the registration of historic properties at the local and national levels.
  6. Increase funding available for historic preservation activities, including restoration and rehabilitation projects.
  7. Increase educational opportunities for individuals who work in fields that contribute to historic preservation.
  8. Develop the economic potential of historic properties by increasing heritage tourism in American Samoa by encouraging and assisting in the preservation, restoration, rehabilitation and maintenance of historic properties.

Strategies Implementing the Goals

  1. Increase public participation.
    • Solicit public views of preservation;
    • Recruit interested individuals;
    • Provide opportunities for public input and participation;
    • Create bilingual posters and brochures;
    • Train American Samoans in documenting historic and cultural properties;
    • Hold workshops, seminars, conferences, etc. on historic preservation philosophies, techniques, and practices.
  2. Increase knowledge of preservation.
    • Publicize preservation activities;
    • Develop educational materials;
    • Broadcast series of TV messages;
    • Maintain and improve ASHPO web site;
    • Create and maintain databases on historic properties.
  3. Improve access to documentary resources.
    • Improve access to sources of historical information;
    • Publicize availability of primary and secondary sources;
    • Encourage American Samoa Archives to obtain relevant documents;
    • Encourage research projects.
  4. Improve historic resource surveys.
    • Update inventory files;
    • Develop historic property database;
    • Develop historic property GIS;
    • Place inventory and GIS on internet;
    • Re-visit historic properties to obtain updated information;
    • Continue historic property identification surveys, especially threatened resources;
    • Seek public input on survey priorities;
    • Encourage academic research projects.
  5. Increase registration of properties.
    • Ensure accurate property information;
    • Nominate properties identified in thematic surveys;
    • Draft American Samoa Historic Preservation Act;
    • Create American Samoa Register of Historic Places;
    • Distribute informational materials about the American Samoan and National Registers.
  6. Increase funding.
    • Support legislation to provide rehabilitation funding;
    • Seek funding from private sector.
  7. Increase professional educational opportunities.
    • Support off-island travel to training events;
    • Offer preservation training;
    • Support local professionals in publishing articles and reports.
  8. Economic development and heritage tourism.
    • Educate the business community and tourism industry about preservation potential;
    • Develop tourism marketing campaign featuring historic properties;
    • Cooperate to restore, rehabilitate, maintain, and use historic properties;
    • Develop leaflets on historic properties and distribute to travel agencies;
    • Encourage preparation of Fagatogo Economic Development preservation plan.
Cooperating/Partnering Organizations:
American Samoa Historic Commission, American Samoa Archives and Records Management, American Samoa Environmental Protection Agency, American Samoa Marine and Wildlife Resources, American Samoa Tourism Office, American Samoa Community College, American Samoa Humanities Council, American Samoa National Park, Parks and Recreation Commission, American Samoa Power Authority, American Samoa Soil and Water Conservation District, American Samoa Natural Resources Commission, the Historical Records Advisory Board, Le Vaomatua, American Samoa Coastal Zone Management Program, National Park Service, Feleti Barstow Public Library, Jean P. Haydon Museum, American Samoa Council on Arts, Culture and Humanities, Aiga Tautai o Samoa, American Samoa Department of Commerce, US Department of the Interior, US Department of Transportation, US Department of Defense, US Army Corps of Engineers, US Navy, US Federal Aviation Administration, USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service, US Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, National Trust for Historic Preservation.


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