Youth leaders on Saipan are calling for more indigenous language classes in the public school system.

Sen. Ayden Yumul with the CNMI Youth Congress (from Grace Christian Academy) said, "I reintroduced this bill in the 19th Youth Congress to really just start something to help preserve the culture…because lots of recognize that it is maybe not dying, but there is a potential that something might happen to our language and our culture.

The NMI Youth Congress taking over the House chamber for their education committee meeting. They passed a bill that would “require all public schools within the CNMI…to teach at least one full year of the Chamorro and/or Carolinian languages.” It will likely pass in their August session and be sent to the House of Representatives for further action.


Saipan International School's Sen. Soledad Sablan shared, "As a Chamorro individual, I think it is very important that we keep our culture alive, especially for me who is not as fluent in Chamorro, it just makes me want to encourage other students and other people to really bring our culture alive."

And Kagman High School with Sen. Vinnie Sablan / Speaker, Youth Congress said, "I am a Chamorro and Carolinian individual myself and I think a lot of our traditional practices are embedded in our language and in our culture, it is who we are."

The senators recently discussed their initiative with Commissioner of Education Dr. Lawrence Camacho. The CNMI Public School System told KUAM that they have 40 Chamorro and 16 Carolinian teachers and instructors teaching language and heritage studies across its campuses.