Speaker disappointed after meeting with military
Friday, November 21st 2014, 5:44 PM ChST
Speaker Judith Won Pat attended a meeting today with the Department of Chamorro Affairs and officials from Naval Facilities Engineering Command Marianas' (NAVFAC).
According to the Speaker, NAVFAC officials announced that healers would only have one day to collect clippings of plants on a 25-acre property they intend to level early next year. Healers will not be allowed to dig or pull tress at the root.
“The military is disrespecting our suruhånas and suruhånus by only allowing them one day to get only clippings of åmot. Some of these plants don't grow well in other parts of the island. Not being able to transplant them limits their chances of survival outside of their native habitat,” says Speaker Won Pat. “Efforts to protect our åmot must be genuine and must be guided by the knowledge and needs of our healers themselves, not by the Navy's construction timeline.”
Speaker Won Pat will be writing a letter to the Department of the Navy and Guam's State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO) expressing her disappointment in this limited process and encouraging them to allow more time and freedom for our healers to save our åmot.