Speaker disappointed with the Navy’s disregard for the traditional healing practices
For Immediate Release, November 21, 2014 – Speaker Judith T. Won Pat is upset by the Naval Facilities Engineering Command Marianas' (NAVFAC) limitations on how traditional healers and herbal practitioners will be allowed to collect medicinal plants on a property they will be clearing for the military build-up. At a meeting held this morning at the Department of Chamorro Affairs, NAVFAC officials announced that healers would only have one day to collect clippings of plants on a 25-acre property they intend to level early next year. Healers will not be allowed to dig or pull tress at the root.
“The military is disrespecting our suruhånas and suruhånus by only allowing them one day to get only clippings of åmot. Some of these plants don’t grow well in other parts of the island. Not being able to transplant them limits their chances of survival outside of their native habitat,” says Speaker Won Pat. “Efforts to protect our åmot must be genuine and must be guided by the knowledge and needs of our healers themselves, not by the Navy’s construction timeline.”
Speaker Won Pat will be writing a letter to the Department of the Navy and Guam’s State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO) expressing her disappointment in this limited process and encouraging them to allow more time and freedom for our healers to save our åmot.
For more information, please contact Victoria-Lola Leon Guerrero in Speaker Won Pat’s Office at 472-3586 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.