Chamorro Commission Looks To Move Forward

Commission originally was called the Chamorro Language Commission and was created by public law in 1964 to be 'the recognized authority on Chamorro language policy for the island of Guam'

By Jerick Sablan

HAGÅTÑA, Guam (Pacific Daily News, July 23, 2017) – The commission in charge of Chamorro language and other local issues is gearing up to meet its mandates after being inactive for almost two decades.

The Kumision I Fino CHamoru yan I Fina’nå’guen I Historia yan I Lina’la’ I Taotao Tåno’, or the Commission on Chamorro Language and the Teaching of the History and Culture of the Indigenous People of Guam, met recently to discuss how to move forward with its mission.

The commission originally was called the Chamorro Language Commission. It was created by public law in 1964 to be "the recognized authority on Chamorro language policy for the island of Guam," according to Guampedia. It's main duty was to describe and prescribe the Chamorro language in written form.

In 1999, it was absorbed into the Department of Chamorro Affairs.

The 33rd Guam Legislature, during its final session, passed a bill to re-establish the commission with the new title and new mandates. 

  • The commission is tasked with several duties, including:
  • updating the orthographic rules of the Chamorro language;
  • providing notifications to the public on the changes;
  • conducting research, publishing and producing multi-media and print materials relating to Chamorro language, history and culture; and
  • acting as a clearinghouse to provide advice for accurate representation and interpretation of Chamorro language, history and culture.

“The commission has a lot of work to do,” Chairwoman Hope Cristobal said at the meeting.

She said the commission is excited for the work ahead.

The commission needs to iron out some issues, such as its budget and clarifying its authority.

Secretary Peter Onedera suggested as the commission waits on answers to those questions, it can focus on looking at the public law that re-established them to better understand what it needs to do moving forward.

The commission will invite representatives from the government agencies to its next meeting on Aug. 7 to discuss a future conference on the Chamorro language.

Pacific Daily News
Copyright © 2017 Guam Pacific Daily News. All Rights Reserved

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