Senator Sabina Perez has reiterated her position on the need to protect historic districts and to preserve in-place during a recent meeting with Joint Region Marianas on archeological discoveries at current military construction sites.
“Consultation measures are inadequate and seem to be limited to only data recovery, drawing parallels to the destruction seen at Måguak. Måguak was a historic preservation disaster, further necessitating a need to cease and to re-evaluate construction on current projects. Joint Region Marianas is only reporting what has already been done, leaving no opportunity to prevent or to mitigate any harm that has happened to the environment. Human remains are uncovered and have been disturbed from their resting place. Such discoveries should warrant the halt of any earth clearing activities, with respect to the people who came before us, those who lived in these areas,” Senator Perez said.
There are more than 30 different historic sites at Tailålo’ located adjacent to the perimeter of the four firing ranges, and eight human remains which were uncovered and were not preserved in-place. Perez said the presentation did not include archeological sites located within the footprint of the fifth and largest of the firing ranges. Upon questioning, it was revealed that human remains with unique elements were discovered in the footprint of this fifth firing range.
“It is vital that our State Historic Preservation Officer protect our sacred sites. This, however, remains to be seen, as much of the process continues under the guise of ‘consultation’, which seems to simply be a practice of salvage archeology and data recovery.”
“We celebrate Arbor Day this month by planting trees. Meanwhile, historic areas and sacred sites are being razed to the ground. We must honor our ancestors by protecting in-place our burials and the historic districts which contain our cultural and natural heritage, which have nurtured us throughout time,” the senator said.