Chamorro rights advocate: Protect our heritage

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LIANA M.S. Hofschneider, president of the Matua Council for Chamorro Advancement, said CNMI leaders should provide a better plan “for the protection of our heritage.”

Like the archaeologists with Swift and Harper Archaeological Resource Consulting or SHARC, she is also demanding a report before ancestral remains excavated at the Anaguan site in Garapan are reburied.

“We need [a] report in order to provide us direction on the proper reburial and the disposition of the ancestral remains,” Hofschneider said.

She said she is not anti-development, but she just wants to make sure that the local people of the islands are given the opportunity to be part of  culture-sensitive work or undertakings.

“We need to get the report, and also, where is the attorney general on this? The governor and the Legislature?” she asked.

In an open letter to Rita Chong-Dela Cruz,  state historic preservation officer of the Historic  Preservation   Office, SHARC’s Michael A. Fleming, Marilyn K. Swift and Randy A. Harper said they do not agree to the reburial of the ancestral remains dug out of the Anaguan site where the Imperial Pacific International hotel-casino is now being constructed, “until all analyses and reporting have been conducted.”

They are referring to the ancestral remains excavated during the Nakamoto archaeological investigation project in the late 1990s.

The Anaguan site in Garapan, they said, was intensively investigated by SHARC between 1996 and 1999.

“During our investigations, approximately  95% of the proposed (at that time) hotel was cleared of archaeological materials. A total of 260 human remains and 53 archaeological features were treated according to HPO stipulations. The large number of burials and former intact deposits at this site contribute to make this one of the most significant archaeological sites in the CNMI.”

They also said that the community benefit fund that IPI is required to contribute should be used to enable them to complete “the necessary analyses and reporting for the human remains and features dug out during the Nakamoto excavation project.”

(See https://www.mvariety.com/cnmi-local/74-editorial/4909-opinion-regarding-the-reburial-of-human-remains-from-the-best-sunshine-hotel-property)

 

   

 

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