4 receive Governor’s Humanities Awards

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FOUR individuals on Saturday received the 23rd Governor’s Humanities Award for their outstanding achievements and contributions to the humanities in the CNMI.

The Northern Marianas Humanities Council awarded retired educator and former teacher representative Ambrose Milton Bennett the Lifetime Achievement in the Humanities.

“A staunch advocate of social equality, Bennett, who was an educator for decades, marched with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. during the civil rights movement in the U.S,” the council stated.

“He played a leading role in lobbying for the establishment of Martin Luther King Jr. Day in the CNMI. As a Public School System teacher, he authored several books and other educational resources focused on the history and economics of Micronesia. He also taught evening and adult social science courses at Northern Marianas College.”

Bennett thanked his wife Lilian for not only nominating him, but for “literally changing my life for the better as she is the reason I became a family man living out my life in the CNMI.”

He said he was also “extremely thankful and humbled by this awesome award which is truly a pinnacle point in my life and in my efforts to address and influence the many issues faced by our youth and the people of the CNMI.”

But what makes the award so very special for him is that “it is for trying to help the people and our Commonwealth even though there are those who didn’t want my help.”

He said his “critics will never negate the fact that some of the best people in the world are the local people of the CNMI and I am truly humbled and honored to accept this prestigious award that will surely contribute to immortalizing my work in CNMI history.”



Anita Mae Ayuyu Sablan, center, with Northern Marianas Humanities Council Executive Director Leo Pangelinan, left, and chairman Robert Torres. Photo by Emmanuel T. Erediano


Ambrose Bennett, center, with his wife, Lilian, second right, daughter Yvette, second left, Northern Marianas Humanities Council Executive Director Leo Pangelinan, left, and chairman Robert Torres, right. Photo by Emmanuel T. Erediano



Eusebio Camacho Borja, second right, poses for a photo with his family, Northern Marianas Humanities Council Executive Director Leo Pangelinan, second left, and chairman Robert Torres, right. Photo by Emmanuel T. Erediano


Outstanding teacher

Anita Mae Ayuyu Sablan received the Outstanding Humanities Teacher Award. She has been an educator in the Public School System for 18 years, serving as teacher, language arts professional learning community member, PSS Distance Education Professional Learning Network and eTeacher trainer.

She is also a seasoned advisor for numerous student organizations such as MHS Tasi to Table (Youth Fishing Club), MHS Protehi Onra Lengguahi Kultura Saipan Ataha Inasa, Chamorro Club and the MHS Red Cross Club.

She said she has always dreamed to be a teacher, adding that education is her passion and her calling.

Oral history

Archaeologist Stephanie Soder was awarded the Preservation of CNMI History Award. She came here to participate in several historical projects while pursuing her master’s degree in maritime archaeology at East Carolina University.

She researched the Chamorro and Carolinian post-World War II interment camps in Susupe and Chalan Kanoa.

In the process, she collected over 30 oral histories from community members who had never before shared their stories or the stories of their family members.

She also examined the ways in which Chamorro and Carolinian maritime traditions were interrupted by their forced relocation.

She presented her findings at American Memorial Park with the support of the Northern Marianas Humanities Council.

In receiving the award through videoconference, she thanked all those who helped and supported her, especially the members of the local community in the Commonwealth.

She said the project would not have been successful if the community did not actively participate.

She appreciated the trust of the local community members who invited her to their homes and shared their personal and many times difficult recollections.

She hopes she can continue to conduct research that are significant to the people of the CNMI.

Traditional trade

Eusebio Camacho Borja received the Preservation for Traditional Cultural Practices Award. He is the first person in Commonwealth history to be designated master of his traditional trade by the CNMI Legislature.

Because of his work in preserving traditional cultural practices by promoting the use of traditional ox cart and his talents in domesticating livestock, he has been recognized as  Master of Arts & Culture.

Borja and his family also contributed significantly to the building of the Chamorro thatched house or Guma’ Higai near Civic Center on Beach Road.

Borja’s children and grandchildren worked with him in the construction of the traditional house.

November 2020 pssnewsletter

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