Monday, May 19, 2008

Famoksaiyan Tulu

Minagahet Zine
Volume 6 Issue 2 - March 24, 2008

Hafa Adai, yan welcome to i mina'trenta sais na Minagahet.
It is that time of year again, almost time for another dinaña' Famoksaiyan or Famoksaiyan gathering. This year's gathering is titled "Guma'Famoksaiyan: Gathering Strength for the Journey Ahead," and is scheduled for May 23-25, 2008 in San Diego, California. This year's gathering is being co-sponsored by Chamorro Hands in Education Links Unity (CHELU) Inc. For more info or to find regular updates, please head to the Guma'Famoksaiyan blog. This issue of Minagahet will be, for those who don't know much about Famoksaiyan, an introduction to hayi ham? and ginnen manu ham? And for those who already do know about Famoksaiyan it will be a retrospective of sorts, a collection of different events and projects that we've completed over the past three years.

Ti bai hu kedagi hamyo, it has been surreal putting this issue together. When the idea for the first Famoksaiyan conference was discussed way back in 2005 by me and i primu-hu Alfred Flores, we weren't thinking that it would or ever could come this far. We spoke to each other about the great distances between Chamorros in the states, and then the even further (geographic and metaphoric) distances that existed between Chamorros who saw eye to eye on issues of colonization, decolonization and progressive politics. Chamorro communities in the islands and the in the diaspora tend to be on the conservative sign, and just as many Chamorros in the states, working, attending school, think of themselves as the only Chamorro around, those who are critical of issues affecting Chamorros in relation to the United States, tend to feel even more alone.

On Guam, there is a tradition of anti-colonial struggles, leaders, movements, groups and writers. Yanggen malago hao sumanao i minimu kontra colonization, there are many ways one can go about it. You can attend a Nasion Chamoru meeting, speak to former or current members of Nasion, OPI-R, Para Pada' or the CCC, stop by the side of the road and talk to Howard Hemsing, pick up a copy of Just Left of the Setting Sun or join a group like Guma' Palu Li'e.

In the fall of last year I completed a research project titled "Decolonization and the Diaspora: The Resistance and Insistence of Decolonization Amongst Chamorros in California," which looked at the presence and absence of "decolonization" amongst the political/social organizing of Chamorros in the United States. What I found was a clear lack of any progressive or critical tradition which young Chamorros in the states could draw from in terms of forming their political identities and projects. There were some small things here or there, a few scattered organizations, most of which came into existence and then quickly fell apart. In fact on issues of Chamorros being politically active, most Chamorros seemed to celebrate the fact that Chamorros aren't "political" or that their true and authentic condition is to not take political issues seriously.
For these reasons, Chamorros tended to look elsewhere for this sort of thing, becoming radicalized through working with other indigenous groups, or other ethnic groups such as Latino, Asian/Asian American and African American groups. What the first Famoksaiyan conference was supposed to be, was just a place where those who wanted to help start this new Chamorro tradition could come together. It was to be a place where those who feel critical about the 110 year colonial relationship between the United States and Chamorros could gather together to share, build friendships and organize.

It has gone far beyond those initial discussions. It has transformed into a dozen different events, publications, websites, and hundreds of different individuals from Guam and the Marianas to the United States. Mampos banidosu yu' este na såkkan na bai hu ma'gågasi ta'lo este na dinaña'. For those who are interested in learning more about Famoksaiyan or this year's gathering, you can contact me or head to the Guma'Famoksaiyan blog. Through our collaboration with CHELU Inc. we are able to accept tax-deductible donations from people interested in supporting Famoksaiyan or making this conference happen. If you would like to donate please click this link.
Put fabot, ayuda ham gi este na kinalamten. Ti siña in che'gue este sin i sinapotten-miyu.

Sahuma Minagahet yan Na'suha Dinagi



Para Manu Hit?

As Chamorros and their islands face uncertain futures due to various economic, health, environmental, military and social concerns, it is crucial that we come together to work towards developing progressive solutions to these problems. This year’s Famoksaiyan gathering hopes to continue the spirit of our ancestors by creating a guma’famoksaiyan, or a house where we can nurture each other, grow and strategize ways to continue paddling forward. We will do this by first, providing presentations and facilitating discussions about fundamental issues that are affecting our people and our islands, whether it be health and diet issues, the impending military buildup, the reality of Guam’s physical environment, the decolonization of Guam and the plight of the Chamorro language. Second, in the hopes of building a more progressive and critical Chamorro / Guam community, we will also convene working groups to discuss different projects and strategies to creatively and effectively confront the existing problems that face our island.

Ginnen Manu Hit Magi?

Famoksaiyan: "Our Time to Paddle Forward" Summit on Decolonization and Native Self-Determination.

The second Famoksaiyan gathering, Famoksaiyan Hugua or Famoksaiyan: "Our Time to Paddle Forward" Summit on Decolonization and Native Self-Determination was held on April 20th-22nd, 2007 in Berkeley and Oakland, California. It was organized by the Famoksaiyan collective in the Bay Area, and brought together more than 300 people to share and learn about the struggles of indigenous peoples in the Pacific and the Americas. Click HERE to see the schedule for the gathering.

Famoksaiyan: Decolonizing Chamorro Histories, Identities and Futures

Famoksaiyan first began as a conference titled Famoksaiyan: Decolonizing Chamorro Histories, Identities and Futures, which was organized by Michael Lujan Bevacqua, Josette Lujan Quinata, Destiny Tedtaotao and Alfred Peredo Flores Jr. It was held at the Son's and Daughters of Guam Club in San Diego, California on April 14-15, 2006 and was attended by more than 70 Chamorros and their allies. Click HERE to see the schedule for the first Famoksaiyan conference.

Hita Guahan! Chamorro Testimonies at the United Nations - 2007

This booklet is a compilation of the testimonies presented at the United Nations Special Political and Decolonization Committee on October 4, 2006. These testimonies carry on the legacy of more than 20 years of Chamorus who've appealed to the United Nations on behalf of Guam and Chamoru human rights. It features the testimonies of Julian Aguon, Hope Alvarez Cristobal, Sabina Flores Perez, Victoria Leon Guerrero, Tiffany Naputi Lacsado and Fanai Cruz Castro.

Guinifen i Mañainå-Ta: Chamorro Testimonies at the United Nations - 2008

Testimonies made by members and allies of Famoksaiyan to the United Nations Special Committee of 24 on Decolonization in June of 2008 and the Fourth Committee in October of 2008. Includes testimonies by Dr. Keith Lujan Camacho, Dr. Hope Cristobal Jr., Sabina Flores Perez, Victoria Leon Guerrero, Rima Miles and Michael Lujan Bevacqua.

Radio interviews made by Famoksaiyan members in 2006 and 2007. Featured in the interviews are Erica Nalani Benton, Michael Gumataotao Tuncap, Victoria Leon Guerrero, Julian Aguon, estaba Senadora Hope Alvarez Cristobal, Nicole Adapon Santos, Fanai Cruz Castro, Sabina Flores Perez, and Michael Lujan Bevacqua.

An event held in Berkeley, California on November 30, 2008 to provide information on the recent trip by Famoksaiyan members and allies to the United Nations, and to give a picture of the struggles for decolonization in the Pacific, and the effect of the current military buildups to the lives and lands of Chamorros. Featured performances and presentations by Rhea Aguon, Erica Nalani Benton, Jacob "Scarletto" Perez, Michael Lujan Bevacqua, Tiffany Naputi Lacsado, Victoria Leon Guerrero, Michael Gumataotao Tuncap, Sabina Flores Perez, Kerri Ann Borja, Fanai Cruz Castro and Rima Miles.

By 2014, the United States plans to spend $10 billion to move 8,000 Marines and their 9,000 dependents from Okinawa to Guam , increasing its presence there by more than three fold. The small island of Guam , where only 172,000 people live, will be flooded with the burden of 40,000 more people associated with the military build-up. On August 13, 2007, in a meeting with U.S. Congressional representatives, a group of Guam 's maga'haga raised their hands and voices against the movement of thousands of marines, sailors and airmen, and more nuclear submarines and bombers to their island home. In Ancient times, "maga'haga" were the eldest daughters of a clan, who shared the responsibilities of running the clan's affairs and governing its resources with the "maga'lahi," or the eldest sons. Today, the term refers to a strong female leader.
Decolonizing Our Lives: A Progress Report on the Status of Human Rights on Guam

A forum held on January 4, 2007 at the University of Guam which gathering together Chamorro activists from the island and from the diaspora to discuss the colonial status of Guam and the proposed military build up to the island, and what types of work people are doing locally, nationally and internationally to change Guam's political status and effect positive and peaceful change. Speakers included Maga'haga Debbie Quinata, estaba Senadora Hope Alvarez Cristobal, Lisa Natividad, Julian Aguon and Michael Lujan Bevacqua.

A discussion between Michael Lujan Bevacqua and Josette Lujan Quinata, recorded by Jack Lujan Bevacqua on November 17, 2007 in Los Angeles California, related to issues of Guam's decolonization, the decline and revitalization of the Chamorro language, and the proposed military buildup to the island.


MINAGAHET is published by the Chamorro Information Activists, a non-profit, poorly funded, poorly staffed yan machalapon activist organization, created for the benefit of the people and the futures of Guam. Non-profit doesn't imply "non-profit status or anything" just that taya' suetdon-mami nu este. Pues an kala'u este, ti isao n-mami. Mismo i isaon i tinaigefsagan-mami. Copyright 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 MINAGAHET. All rights reserved. We aren't sure what that means, but we see it put at the bottom of other things, and the last thing we want to do is get in trouble for not telling people that all our rights are reserved as well. EMAIL PARA UN TUNGO' MAS

1 comment:

yanqui mike said...

Sorry to be off topic...
...but we other 54 "State Bloggers" from all over the world are attempting to form, in the finest syndico-anarchist tradition (...Amish barn raising, if you prefer) a mutual aid association for traveling and staying and getting the most from blogging from the floor.

Please drop me an email so that I can get you on the email list.



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