Friday, December 14, 2007

The Despair of the Indigenous People

Letter to the Editor: The despair of the indigenous people
December 14, 2007
The Saipan Tribune

MR. John Kapileo’s recent letter to you will resonate in the minds and hearts of the indigenous people of the CNMI and I am very happy that people like him are beginning to participate in the discussion on the issue of immigration and migrants in the CNMI.

Mr. Kapileo recognized the despair of the indigenous people when their homeland is being bastardized by the most powerful nation in the world and people are flocking to these islands in search of the American Dream at the cost of the people that were here first.

If democracy is at work, Mr. Kapileo is right — Rep.-elect Tina Sablan is heading in the direction that will perpetuate more poison to the despair of the indigenous people of the CNMI.

Democracy is at work and being a trashcan after an election is a normative political behavior in the eyes of the freshman representative who is supposedly under moral obligation to give and divide equal attention of her official time to the problems of the land.

The bad news to Mr. Kapileo, however, is that you and scores of other voters like you in Precinct 1 have forfeited your votes even before the games are played to the freshman representative who is now a foreigner and careless about your need for representation in the Legislature.

You see how ironic democracy is, turning the tides against the people who voted you to office is perfectly acceptable. We asked those caring elected representatives in the new Legislature to hold the fort of the indigenous people because we are counting on your true and genuine concern in advancing the cause and aspirations for those people who have struggled and lived the lives of their ancestors and witnessed every human turmoil of war, and Godgiven hardship so that we value and give meaning to a permanent homeland for future generations of our kind.

The islands in the CNMI are not for auction to anybody — these islands are meant for the indigenous people. This is a cause that will divide people who are new to these islands and people who came to these islands first, but once you see the despair of the indigenous people, you cannot unsee it.

We all know that Saipan, in particular, is over populated. The island could not forever sustain the current level of population. Hence, elected officials like Rep. Cinta Kaipat said that overpopulation and the potential of permanent migration of people to the CNMI is a serious threat to the life and livelihood of the indigenous people. This is not a congenital defect in our particular brand of democracy! The CNMI is not the place where the American Dreams could be found as gold that lies at the end of the rainbow.

For those that have given false hope to desperate migrants in the CNMI, giving encouragement that it is moral and democratic to desecrate the indigenous people of the CNMI in launching their platforms for the American Dream — the indigenous people will view this as bad to their well-being, and consequently, a new democracy will come.

At the end of day this matter will be too overbearing and the masses will be awakened and chaos will emanate across every heart and mind of the indigenous people to fight and recover what was once their own homeland.

Scores of Pacific island people in modern times are being pushed aside by foreigners in their own homelands. Guam and Hawaii are examples where the indigenous people are being outnumbered because of U.S. immigration policy. Fiji is a prime example where migrants from India are overtaking the survival of the indigenous people in their own homeland and chaos in this region of the world is a sad story and this is imminent in the CNMI if the U.S. plants its own immigration policy here.

As indigenous people in the CNMI, are we to stop and wait for the worst? We need to act in a proactive manner and have a voice and a unified force to protect our existence as a people and let everyone know that the CNMI belongs to the Chamorrosand Carolinians wo are attached to these islands as their homeland. We welcome visitors, but you are only a visitor and one day we expect that you will leave us and these lands.

Ms. Tina Sablan’s position will ignite further division of the people that she thinks she is representing and those that she has publicly abandoned. Perhaps the people that voted and supported her in the election did so in haste, but are now regurgitating their decision.

Language was used to pacify and fool the people. The words of Ms. Tina Sablan were misunderstood. We hope that as she plays her politics of justice she would give some special attention to the indigenous people’s despair and promote their desire to be left alone and to flourish as a people in their homeland. She should search and find the balance as she is introduced and welcomed to the world of politics of immigration, migration, education, health care, resistance, morality, governance, opposition, accountability, the environment, the indigenous people, and the sickening uncertainty for future generations like my grandchildren and those that follow my foot steps.

I hope Ms. Tina Sablan would find in her heart that the indigenous people of the CNMI are a people that have only their land to have and the language and tradition to be identified with. We hope that as the church teaches us to give respect to others, those that come to our house should respect us as well. But if that is not the case, we ought to ask that you leave us.

Ms. Tina Sablan should realize that when those who are advising her have achieved their aims, they will leave the commonwealth and the world will start collapsing and she will be viewed as one who helped desecrate her own people.

Idealism is good, but people fight for idealism because it is the right thing to do in their minds. We need to connect thoughts and language in the same way that we integrate idealism to realism. We know our language and our thoughts as indigenous people of the CNMI, and once you see how we feel and value our life, you cannot unsee it.


Chalan Kanoa, Saipan

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