By Lori Lyn Lirio
IN response to the appeal of native healers for a piece of land to protect and preserve medicinal plants, Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands Governor Ralph DLG Torres will designate a piece of real estate on Saipan, Tinian and Rota.
The governor recently made the promise after signing a proclamation designating Sept. 16 to 22, 2018 as Simånan Åmut Natibu, Sumwóólal Sáfeyal Falúw and Native Medicine Week.
The proclamation signing was held last September 17 at the Governor’s Conference room.
During the celebration of native medicine week, the Indigenous Affairs Office and Inetnun Åmut yan Kutturan Natibu/Mwiischil Safey me Kkoor Aramasal Faluw conducted demonstrations and tasting of concocted medicine made from plants and herbs.
In an interview, the governor said he believes in the effectiveness of the medicinal plants. He recounted that his parents were still making medicine out of plants they brought from Saipan to Bosie, Idaho.
“When we moved in 1992, my parents were making natural medicines with ingredients we got from here. I was still drinking it. I think it is important for us to continue that. It is important to have someone who is able to continue to provide those local services,” the governor said.
Amut Natibu president Isidoro Cabrera said this was the first proclamation ever made for the promotion of local plants and herbs medicine.
“It is very significant to have this proclamation because it translates into giving out message to the community to make sure the preservation of plants and herbs and the traditional healing process,” Cabrera said, adding “it is very important that we continue to partake and teach the younger generation that this practice really helped when you have health problem.”
He said the proclamation will help raise awareness in the community.
To engage the interest of the students in traditional healing using plants and hersb, Cabrera added, they plan on having educational outreach to schools in the next few months.
“We are still on the planning stage and arranging schedules for the schools.”