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Sec. Zinke greeted with traditional American Samoa hospitality

Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga (left) and US Secretary of Interior, Ryan Zinke,Talauega Eleasalo Ale, dressed in Samoan chiefly attire, Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga, US Secretary of Interior, Ryan Zinke, and US Interior Department official Nikolao Pula

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — US Secretary of Interior, Ryan Zinke, arrived in American Samoa just around 7am today (Thursday, Sept. 06, 2018) onboard a US government plane accompanied by his delegation.

Zinke stepped off the plane, dressed in a white shirt and traditional Samoan wrap around for men, or ie faitaga, to the sound of Samoan music followed by dances by the Tafuna High School swing choir.

The delegation was welcomed by Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga, who led the territorial delegation, which included traditional leaders. Samoan high chiefs, including Police Commissioner Le’i Sonny Thompson and Attorney General, Talauega Eleasalo Ale, were in Samoan chiefly attires at the airport.

Also at the airport, were Lt. Gov. Lemanu Palepoi Sialega Mauga and Secretary of  Samoan Affairs, Mauga T. Asuega.  Accompanying the group was American’s Samoa’s delegate to the U.S. Congress, Aumua Amata.

After a brief break at the airport VIP lounge, Zinke and his delegation, boarded the motorcade heading into town, with a brief drive-through at LBJ Medical Center compound.

The group then headed straight for StarKist Samoa, where company management and employees were out in full force to welcome Zinke, on his first visit to Pago Pago.

From the canneries in Atu’u the delegation headed to Utulei Beach for the traditional ava ceremony followed by a luncheon.

Students from schools along the motorcade route were out on both sides of the road to welcome Zinke. Many government employees joined them on the motorcade route.

More details as they become available.