The Department of Community and Cultural Affairs, through its Chamorro-Carolinian Language Policy Commission, hosted its first Kumfirensian Kumbetsasion Iya Mariånas-Schuulapal Mwaliili llól Marianas-Regional Dialogue last Nov. 14-15 at the Pacific Islands Club Saipan.
The event is the first-ever regional dialogue between the Guam Language Commission and the CNMI Language Commission.
CCLPC executive director Melvin Faisao said that the dialogue is conducted to ensure that both the CNMI and Guam can address any regional differences, particularly in terms of orthography.
“We are conducting this dialogue to assure that we can address any differences, such as the existing CNMI adopted orthography with the existing Guam orthography,” Faisao said.
“We would focus on how to preserve, strengthen, and enhance our orthography that will better serve our stakeholders, the students, as well as other people who would like to learn our language,” he added.
Official dignitaries from the Guam Language Commission, chair Dr. Hope Alvarez Cristobal, Dr. Laura Souder, and Ms. Teresita C. Flores, represented Guam during the dialogue.
Guam presented their strategic plan, among other pertinent information, and the CNMI presented actions that had been undertaken to meet the demands of CCLPC mandates.
The two-day event featured presentations about the Public School System Immersion Program, Chamorro dictionary, as well as a report from the Northern Marianas College on the classes offered at NMC on the utilization of existing orthography in higher educational level. Information on the recent Chamorro-Carolinian Identity Conference was also presented.
“The goal of this gathering is uniting to strengthen, perpetuate, and preserve our language and culture. Living culture, living arts. What we should be discussing is how these living, dynamic forces which comprise our heritage can be strengthened and enhance,” Faisao stressed.
For more information about language, call the CCLPC office at 664-5321.