Chamorro and Carolinian cultures now better understood

LAST month’s Third Marianas History Conference was a success.

Thus said Northern Marianas Humanities Council Executive Director Scott Russell as he disclosed that nearly 300 participants attended the conference which was aimed to further understand facts about Chamorro and Carolinian cultures. 

The conference featured 36 different presentations – including three keynote speech – of original research that covers a wide range of topics spanning nearly four millennia.

We have a great turn out. We had overflow crowds at Hibiscus Hall of the Fiesta Resort. We started close to 300. We are happy to see the number of people that came, even though it was Friday and Saturday and there were competing events,” Russell said.

Unlike most academic events, Council’s board chair Frankie M. Eliptico, said the Sept. 1 and 2, Marianas History Conference included both scholars and avocational researchers who presented the many stories of archipelago from a variety of viewpoints.

Among the attendees was Bureau of Education board member Herman Deleon Guerrero, who said conference was useful to Public School System teachers because it provided supplemental information for their lesson plan.

Our teachers are teaching NMI history and Chamorro and Carolinian cultures. They need to understand some of the historical facts and they can learn new information that they can help in the classrooms. There have not much material in the area and this is an opportunity to hear first-hand experience from people that have done research,” Deleon Guerrero said.

I am hoping that someday somebody would do a presentation about the influence of Filipinos in the community – going back to the Spanish time – because they have a lot of Chamorro-Filipino blood here in the CNMI. It is part of their history. How did the Filipinos help the community throughout the years? I would like to see a presentation of that,” the BOE officials said when asked what other topics that he wants included in the future conference.

Japanese Consul Kinji Shinoda said all the presentations were interesting.

I am especially interested in the keynote speech of Dr. Laura M. Torres Souder. She is suggesting what kind of mentality you should have, and you should keep and you should revitalize. You should have your own identity. It is important for CNMI to keep and revitalized their culture.”

Municipal Council LJ Castro said it was his second time to attend the conference sponsored by the Council.

I was at the conference five years ago and it was here at the same location. From then to now, it shows that there are a lot of topics that are important to both Chamorro and Carolinian history and to the CNMI in general.”
Castro said the presentations helped bring all of what happened in the past to be able to come up with a solution. It also helped get a better insight to individual. He added that all members of the municipal council have attended the conference.

We are all very passionate about culture and history. It is important for us to be here and listen to what scholars and the presenters have to say. The issues that affect the Marianas affect us all together as a whole. Since we are on islands that evolved in ever changing time it is important that we all come together and have discussions and listen to what is to be said.”

The keynote speakers include Dr. Laura M. Torres Souder, who talked about indigenous revisionism.

Sauder is the president and chief executive officer of Chicago-based Souder, Betances and Associates, Inc. she is the author of Daughters of the Island: Contemporary Chamorro Organizers of Guam, was co-editor of Chamorro Self-Determination, as well as numerous research papers and technical reports.

Spanish author and historian Dr. Carlos Madrid, who is the director of Instituto Cervantes de Manila, discussed about a close look at Chamorro-Spanish Luis de Torres, a second in command in the government of the Mariana Islands.

For his part, Julian Aguon, founder and visionary behind Blue Ocean Law – a boutique international law firm that services clients throughout Oceania, discussed about legal mischief in the Marianas.


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  1. Pingback: Chamorro and Carolinian cultures now better understood - Duterte Daily

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