Chamorro-Carolinian Language Policy Commission



The Chamorro-Carolinian Language Policy Commission was established on October 13, 1982 with the passing of CNMI Public Law 03-26, also known as the “Chamorro-Carolinian Language Policy Commission Act of 1982.” The Act was later repealed and reenacted by CNMI Public Law 15-96 on October 10, 2007.

The commission shall be composed of eight (8) members appointed by the Governor pursuant to joint nominations submitted by the Director of Chamorro/Carolinian Bilingual Program of the Public School System, the Executive Assistant for Carolinian Affairs, and the Executive Assistant for Indigenous Affairs as nominating agencies.

The members of the commission shall be of Chamorro or Carolinian descent, proficient in either Chamorro or Carolinian, and residents of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands; provided that three (3) members shall be Chamorro, three (3) members shall be Carolinian, one (1) member shall be a resident of Tinian, and one (1) member shall be a resident of Rota.

The members shall serve a term of four (4) years; provided, that of the members first appointed, two (2) members are to serve for four years, two members are to serve for three years, two members are to serve for two years,
and two members are to serve for one year.

The commission shall elect officers and adopt rules and regulations necessary to ensure the proper performance of its duties and functions.

The Duties and Functions of the Chamorro-Carolinian Language Policy Commission are to:

  • Study antecedents, describe the grammar, and prescribe good usages for the Chamorro and Carolinian languages;
  • Prepare a modern and up-to-date Chamorro-Carolinian-English dictionary;
  • Represent the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands in meetings and conferences on matters dealing with the Chamorro and Carolinian languages;
  • Make recommendations to the Board of Education on standard orthography to be used in the public school system;
  • Research the Chamorro and Carolinian languages and the people, and provide such resources to the Joeten-Kiyu Public Library;
  • Establish, formulate, and enforce policies for government and private sectors regarding Chamorro and Carolinian translations, and to certify all Chamorro and Carolinian translators;
  • Promulgate rules and regulations for Chamorro and Carolinian languages used on all government or public documents and public places including public buildings, roads, places, street naming, and private business signs;
  • Make recommendations to the Legislature on policies governing the usage of Chamorro and Carolinian language in the government sector; and
  • Establish and support local initiatives to carry out policies in support of the Chamorro and Carolinian languages and cultures.

There is established within the Commission a Committee on Certification of Chamorro and Carolinian Translators comprised of four (4) members of the commission; provided that two (2) members shall be Chamorro and two (2) members shall be Carolinian. The Commission shall adopt rules and regulations regarding the criteria, qualifications, and certification process of Chamorro and Carolinian translators.

CNMI Public Law 03-26
CNMI Public Law 15-96