CAO to launch cultural preservation programs for youth

THE Carolinian Affairs Office will launch cultural preservation programs for youth in the next three years.

CAO Executive Assistant John Tagabuel said his office was awarded $441,815 by the Administration for Native Americans which is under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

John Tagabuel

He said the funding will allow the CAO to hire instructors and program managers and purchase needed materials.

The programs, he added, will focus on traditional dances, chants and crafts.       

“The chants are very important because they tell stories about traditional canoes, about playing, the seasons, animals, fruits, fishes — basically, our way of life. Those are the things that I want our children to know,” Tagabuel said in an interview.

For the first year, FY 2018, $180,967 will be allocated for the CAO; $129,734 for the second year, FY 2019; and $131,114 for the third year, FY 2020.

Tagabuel said young Carolinians are the main target group for the programs, which will eventually be open to everyone interested. “When the programs start running then we can make sure that they will be open to everybody.”

In June, Tagabuel said he worked with the Office of the Governor and the Office of Grants Management to prepare the grant proposal for the promotion and preservation of Carolinian culture.

“Carolinian youths are currently not acquiring traditional knowledge and practices. In line with the mission of the CAO, which is to develop programs and provide services that protect, promote, and preserve the welfare, culture and traditions of the indigenous Carolinians of the CNMI, the goal was to teach more traditional cultural knowledge and practices to the Carolinian youth and adults,” Tagabuel said.

“It is who we are, Carolinians and Chamorros. We want to make sure that our children keep the culture. Without them knowing who they are, they will be lost and be just like everybody else. We have mixed cultures now. So we want to make sure that our children will keep our local culture alive.”

Source: Marianas Variety :

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