The Pacific Islands Bilingual and Bicultural Association conference will be held on June 24 and will end on June 30, according to organizers last Wednesday.
With preparations that started as early as June last year, the public can expect appearances from attendees from all over the Pacific.
The highlight of this year’s conference is the arrival of the King and Queen of Madolenihmw, Pohnpei.
The Palau and Guam language commissions will also be arriving for this year’s conference to discuss ways to better implement the native language and to better improve the language dictionary.
The conference will touch base on the importance or preservation and perpetuation of the CNMI’s native languages: Chamorro and Carolinian.
Last Wednesday, Gov Ralph DLG Torres signed the proclamation designating June 24 to 30 as Pacific Islands Bilingual Bicultural Association Week. He urges everyone in the CNMI to join him in honouring cultural and language practitioners and educators who continue to promote and perpetuate indigenous cultures and languages.
Torres said the PIBBA conference and its efforts to keep the language and the heritage alive is of grave importance.
According to International PIBBA president Francis Sablan, the conference is a time when both international and local PIBBA chapters get together to encourage the public to continue to sustain all Pacific island cultures, whether it is the language, beliefs, artifact, or customs.
“It is important that this proclamation proclaim to the world, not just to the CNMI, that the CNMI is still very strong in supporting all languages. It doesn’t have to be Chamorro or Carolinian. It’s encouraging all the parents to use their native language so that their children will grow up using it,” Sablan said.