Friday, September 19, 2008

Conference Aims to Strengthen Chamorro, Language, Culture

Conference aims to strengthen Chamorro language, culture
Friday, 19 September 2008
By Junhan B. Todeno
Variety News Staff

ORGANIZERS of the 3rd Annual Chamorro Conference yesterday finalized the program for the two-day gathering which aims to provide a forum for the new generation and the senior citizens to articulate their views on Chamorro language and culture.

Organizers of the upcoming 3rd Annual Chamorro Conference pose after their meeting yesterday at the Saipan World Resort. Photo by Raymond A Martinez

The conference is scheduled for Sept. 26-27 at the Saipan World Resort in Susupe.

Former Rep. Daniel O. Quitugua, the chairman of the organizing committee, said the conference will look into the language issue, particularly the compliance of Public School System with Article 15 of the CNMI Covenant which mandates the promotion of local language and culture.

He said they will make a “critical review” of the accomplishment of PSS on the educating children about Chamorro language and culture.

The primary objective of the conference, he said, is to discuss issues affecting local culture.

“We like to find out from the young generation how they can maintain and protect our culture,” said Quitugua, who is also a former Board of Education chairman.

The conference may ask lawmakers to pass measures that will help protect local culture.

Quitugua said they are expecting 200 participants from Guam, Tinian, Rota, Saipan and the Northern Islands.

Last year’s conference was held on Rota while Guam hosted the first conference

This year’s panelists will include Dr. Faye Untalan, Dr. Rita Inos, Dr. Benit Dungca and Dr. Tony Palomo.

Participants are expected to discuss indigenous rights, the political status and laws of the CNMI and Guam affecting Chamorros.

The CNMI panelists are Paz Younis, former Alvaro Santos, Jose Dela Cruz, Oscar Rasa, Quitugua, Gregorio Cruz and Vicente Santos while the Guam panel is composed of Joe Garrido, Tony Sablan, Hope Cristobal, Therese Terlaje, Ed Benavente and Michael Lujan Bevacqua.

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