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Last updateTue, 18 Dec 2018 12am

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    Monday, December 17, 2018-11:50:28A.M.

     

     

     

     

     

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DCCA chief supports establishment of cultural center

SAYING it is long overdue, Department of Community and Cultural Affairs Secretary Robert Hunter expressed support for the establishment of a cultural center.

Robert Hunter

“It only makes sense since tourism is our industry,” he said. “There are plenty of other places with beautiful beaches and great weather, but if we really want tourists to visit more than once, we need to highlight what is unique about this place — our Chamorro and Carolinian cultures.”

Hunter cited Hawaii as an example. “You have to drive a couple of hours to get to the Polynesian cultural center and it cost $85 or $95 to enter but it is the most visited paid attraction there.”

The 19th Legislature appropriated $75,000 for a cultural center feasibility study, but did not pass the bill to establish the cultural center.

Recently, Indigenous Affairs Office Resident Executive Roman Tudela Jr. said the money is still available for its stated purpose and can be re-appropriated.

He noted that Article III, Section 23(b) of the CNMI Constitution mandates his office to, among other things, “plan for the establishment of the Indigenous Cultural Center and the Indigenous Hall of Fame.”

“The IAO, the Carolinian Affairs Office and DCCA will work collaboratively to establish the cultural center,” Tudela said.