Indigenous expo to highlight culture, traditions

Posted on Oct 09 2019

Indigenous Affairs Office resident director Roman Tudela, Jr. leads the discussion at the IAO Office Wednesday with representatives of the Carolinian Affairs Office, Marianas Visitors Authority, Lady Diann Torres Foundation, and Department of Community and Cultural Affairs, as they prepare for the Indigenous Cultural Expo that will happen this Oct. 14, Monday, from 9am to 3pm at the Guma Sakman at the Civic Center in Susupe. (Iva Maurin)

Experience Chamorro and Carolinian traditions as the CNMI celebrates the 3rd Annual Indigenous Cultural Expo this Oct. 14, Monday, from 9am to 3pm at the Guma Sakman at the Civic Center in Susupe.

Held as part of the islands’ celebration of Commonwealth Cultural Day on Oct. 14, the expo will feature cultural demonstrations by different organizations and companies. The expo committee has been busy for the past few weeks deliberating on the best way to showcase indigenous culture to the community, especially among children.

“It is a holiday and we are encouraging [children] to be exposed to our culture,” said Roman Tudela Jr., Indigenous Affairs Office resident director. “That is why we have this event—as an educational venue on our culture. This is why we have all this demonstrators available for them. It is Commonwealth Cultural Day, so it is very fitting for us to do this event on this day.”

The expo committee includes representatives of the Office of the Governor, the Indigenous Affairs Office, the Carolinian Affairs Office, the Marianas Visitors Authority, the Lady Diann Torres Foundation, Department of Community and Cultural Affairs, Commonwealth Council of Arts and Culture, Imperial Pacific (CNMI) LLC, and 500 Sails.

The expo will showcase seafaring traditions, traditional food and medicines (with free tastings), traditional coconut products and usage, native agricultural techniques, bull cart ride (free rides), cultural performances, and language and culture.

“We will be putting out food that we prepare during that day for everybody,” Tudela said. “There’s going to be some fish, we’re going to have some root crops. It’s all going to be for the entire public, for whoever is there, to be able to taste our traditional food.”

Members of the community who will be at the expo are also invited to join and enjoy the traditional fiesta (feast). Beginning at 3pm, traditional food such as root crops, roast pigs, beef, cooked fish, and others will be served.

For more information about the expo, contact the IAO Office at 664-2664.

Iva Maurin | Correspondent
Iva Maurin is a communications specialist with environment and community outreach experience in the Philippines and in California. She has a background in graphic arts and is the Saipan Tribune’s community and environment reporter. Contact her at
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