Article IV, Section 4 of the Revised Constitution of American Samoa, establishes the position of Secretary of Samoan Affairs, who is appointed by the Governor from among the leading registered Matais (chiefs). He/She holds office at the pleasure of the Governor. The Secretary of Samoan Affairs is the head of the Department of Local Government in conjunction with the District Governors. He/She co-ordinates the administration of the district, county, and village level affairs as provided by Laws. In conjunction with the District Governors, the Secretary of Samoan Affairs supervises all ceremonial functions.
Based on the above granted constitutional authority, I have prepared this message with the hope that it will clearly clarify the duties and responsibilities of our office. In light of the growing belief that our cultural traditions are under constant threat by foreign attitudes and behaviors, it is vitally important that the Office of Samoan Affairs is vigilant lest our cultural identity vanishes like the thief in the night. While many good things from the outside have improved the lives of our people, we must be more discriminating in accepting foreign elements of quality which will improve our lives. We are seeing the steady rise in social problems attributed mainly to the destruction of family values caused by blind acceptance of foreign traits damaging to our traditional and religious tenets.
The Office of Samoan Affairs must reenergize the village councils so they can rekindle their control over their respective villages. While the Office of Samoan Affairs promotes this goal, great caution must be exercised to make sure that Village Council actions do not conflict with the Laws of the Territory and to ensure that the village councils work closely with the Office of Samoan Affairs. A system of village Pulenu’u (Mayor) is established to serve as a link between the office and the village councils.
We live in a very dynamic society therefore we must be vigilant to make sure that the changes brought about due to technological advancement do not become the destructive agents to our culture and traditions. It is our challenge.
The Department of Local Government, Office of Samoan Affairs is dedicated to promoting peace and harmony within the Territory, and to ensure that the village council actions are not in conflict with the Laws of the Territory. Most importantly, we remain faithfully in preserving, promoting, and enhancing the Samoan Culture and language.
Current & Upcoming Programs and Projects:
We are very proud to announce the dedication of our new Traditional Samoan Fale-Tele "Le Upega Ua Toe Timata" Project on April 16, 2012 in conjunction with the Flag Day celebration. The "Le Upega Ua Toe Timata" Project was funded by the Department of the Interior under its Technical Assistance category, and has been enormously valuable in implementing and completing this very important project.
1 (684) 633-5201
1 (684) 633-5205
1 (684) 633-5590