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Last updateThu, 23 Aug 2018 12am

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    Tuesday, August 21, 2018-7:57:11A.M.

     

     

     

     

     

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Governor signs Pacific Islands Bilingual/Bicultural Association Week proclamation

GOVERNOR Ralph D.L.G. Torres on Wednesday proclaimed June 24-30 as Pacific Islands Bilingual/Bicultural Association or PIBBA Week.

He urged the public to honor local cultural and language practitioners and educators who continue to promote and perpetuate indigenous cultures and languages.

“Language defines a people. It sets them apart. As our region sails into the future, we must remain vigilant in our mission to keep our languages alive and ensure they live long after we’ve left this Earth,” the governor said.

Gov. Ralph Torres and other CNMI officials pose for a photo with Pacific Islands Bilingual Bicultural Association representatives after the proclamation signing for PIBBA Week on Wednesday morning at the administration building on Capital Hill.  Photo by Cherrie Anne E. VillahermosaGov. Ralph Torres and other CNMI officials pose for a photo with Pacific Islands Bilingual Bicultural Association representatives after the proclamation signing for PIBBA Week on Wednesday morning at the administration building on Capital Hill. Photo by Cherrie Anne E. Villahermosa

PIBBA international president Frances Sablan said it is important that they continue to push for the continuance of local culture, local language, customs, artifacts and practices.

She added, “As [retired educator] Carmen Taimanao said, we don’t need to teach the language: all we need to do is use it and the kids will eventually pick it up and use it. This proclamation is important to show the world that the CNMI is still very strong in supporting all the languages, it doesn’t have to be Chamorro or Carolinian. The proclamation encourages all parents to use their native language or mother tongue so that their children will not forget it and will use it too.”

PIBBA will hold its annual conference at Hopwood Middle School starting on June 24.

Sablan said the conference will be highlighted by presentations from the language commissions of other Pacific islands.