Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Online forum on Article XII

(NMI Humanities Council) — The NMI Council for the Humanities is inviting the general public to participate in an online forum on Article XII of the CNMI Constitution pertaining to land ownership.

Article XII stipulates that the acquisition and permanent and long-term interest in real property within the commonwealth is restricted to persons of Northern Marianas descent.
Section 805 of the Covenant requires the Ccmmonwealth to maintain this land alienation provision for 25 years following the termination of the Trusteeship.

This mandatory 25 year period will end in 2011. After that date, the commonwealth may continue, alter, or suspend Article XII as it sees fit.
According to the council’s executive director, Paz C. Younis, the forum does not support any particular position but rather is intended to facilitate community discussions on land ownership from a variety of perspectives.

Dr. Elizabeth D. Rechebei will serve as the forum moderator.

'The forum is a component of a Council project titled “Article XII: Intent, Interpretations and Implications” supported in part by a “We the People” grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Younis said that other project components will include a series of panel discussions on Article XII on the John Gonzales Live television show and in the various schools, an online publication containing essays on land ownership written by local authors, and a series of lectures by experts on early land tenure patterns in Micronesia in the Northern Marianas and other parts of the Pacific.

Individuals interested in participating in the forum or reading what others have to say on this important constitutional issue are invited to visit the forum on the Council’s Web site at www.nmihumanities.org.

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