Northern Marianas Humanities Council To Study Impacts Of Development

Social, cultural, economic implications of new porjects under the microscope

By Junhan B. Todiño 

SAIPAN, CNMI (Marianas Variety, Aug. 2, 2017) – The Northern Marianas Humanities Council will study the social, cultural and economic implications of the island’s new development projects.

Council executive director Scott Russell, in an interview, said they “will be exploring those [topics] over the next year or two — that is something that we have planned to work on.”

He said they may hold a public forum or conference and bring in “experts and other knowledgeable people.”

As guest speaker at the Rotary Club of Saipan’s meeting on Tuesday, Russell also spoke about the council’s other upcoming programs: a mini-conference on “Marianas militarization”; the launch of the Garapan trail; the third Humanities Film Festival; the third Marianas History Conference; and programs for CNMI veterans.

He said the Marianas History Conference will be held at the Fiesta Resort & Spa from Sept. 1 to 2, and among the keynote speakers are Julian Aguon, Dr. Carlos Madrid and Dr. Laura M. Torres Souder.

Russell encouraged Rotarians and other community members to attend the event which is open to the public and free of charge.

He also talked about the council’s ongoing digital archive initiative with the CNMI Archives.

He said the council has been working for a number of years now to collect documents for its digital archives.

He said they have a big collection of Spanish government documents mostly from the 19th century which they obtained from the Philippine National Archives — over 150,000 pages of documents related to the Marianas.

However, some of these documents cannot be accessed on the council’s website due to their size.

Russell said they also have documents from the German, U.S. Navy and Trust Territory administrations, he said.

“These are primary historical documents and those wanting to do research can visit our website,” he said.

The council website is at while its office is located at Springs Plaza in Gualo Rai with telephone number 235-4785.

Russell said among their priorities are studying and preserving local history, languages and cultures.

They also aim to strengthen family literacy skills, explore U.S. and CNMI cultural and historical ties with the Asia and Pacific region, provide humanities programming in the classroom, and offer lifelong learning opportunities.

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