Thursday, January 31, 2008

Kontra i Fina'Federal I CNMI

This came from Sabina Flores Perez, a longtime environmental and economic activist from Guam. Her, myself and other members of Famoksaiyan are working on the Federalization issue of the CNMI right now. Taitai este ya put fabot konsedera umayuyuda ham gi este na che'cho'.
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Dear Friends of Guam,

It breaks my heart to see these changes happen without reprieve to the island that I hold dear to me. We have seen many of our leaders who have not come forward, who have been overwhelmed by the enormous task, or who have buckled under the pressure and the sense of hopelessness which accompanies the long struggle of justice and human rights for Chamorro self-determination, that the US, as the administering power, is legally and morally obligated to fulfill.

I want to say to you that this buildup which has been reported to impact the island and her people on so many levels is not inevitable, but we must act fast.

How, do you ask? Currently, there is a bill in the Senate, that was passed in the House of Representatives in December 2007, and is expected to be voted on in the first week of February. S.2483(Title 7) which directly targets the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands, will provide the means for the expediting of the buildup.

In the next couple of days, we need to flood the Senate Judiciary Committee with faxes of the attached letters before it comes for a vote as part of the Omnibus bill, and let them know that this bill is controversial and requires a closer inspection by the Senate Judiciary Committee.

At this page, Kontra i Fina'Federal, you can find form letters made out to each member of the US Senate Judiciary Committee. We are asking that you print, sign and fax them (making whatever changes you see fit to personalize them), in the next few days, so that our voices can be heard loud and clear--NO to S.2483(Title 7).

PLEASE CIRCULATE TO OUR ALLIES AND FRIENDS.

Si Yu'os Ma'ase,

Sabina Perez

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To join in this fight, click on each of the links below, which contains the name, contact info for each US Senators on the Judiciary Committee. Put fabot, ayuda ham gi este na minimu.

Senator Biden
Senator Brownback
Senator Cardin
Senator Coburn
Senator Clinton
Senator Durbin
Senator Feingold
Senator Feinstein
Senator Graham
Senator Grassley
Senator Hatch
Senator Kennedy
Senator Kohl
Senator Kyl
Senator Leahy
Senator Obama
Senator Schummer
Senator Sessions
Senator Specter
Senator Whitehouse

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Obama Wins in South Carolina

Published on Sunday, January 27, 2008 by The New York Times
A President Like My Father
by Caroline Kennedy

Over the years, I’ve been deeply moved by the people who’ve told me they wished they could feel inspired and hopeful about America the way people did when my father was president. This sense is even more profound today. That is why I am supporting a presidential candidate in the Democratic primaries, Barack Obama.

My reasons are patriotic, political and personal, and the three are intertwined. All my life, people have told me that my father changed their lives, that they got involved in public service or politics because he asked them to. And the generation he inspired has passed that spirit on to its children. I meet young people who were born long after John F. Kennedy was president, yet who ask me how to live out his ideals.

Sometimes it takes a while to recognize that someone has a special ability to get us to believe in ourselves, to tie that belief to our highest ideals and imagine that together we can do great things. In those rare moments, when such a person comes along, we need to put aside our plans and reach for what we know is possible.

We have that kind of opportunity with Senator Obama. It isn’t that the other candidates are not experienced or knowledgeable. But this year, that may not be enough. We need a change in the leadership of this country - just as we did in 1960.
Most of us would prefer to base our voting decision on policy differences. However, the candidates’ goals are similar. They have all laid out detailed plans on everything from strengthening our middle class to investing in early childhood education. So qualities of leadership, character and judgment play a larger role than usual.

Senator Obama has demonstrated these qualities throughout his more than two decades of public service, not just in the United States Senate but in Illinois, where he helped turn around struggling communities, taught constitutional law and was an elected state official for eight years. And Senator Obama is showing the same qualities today. He has built a movement that is changing the face of politics in this country, and he has demonstrated a special gift for inspiring young people - known for a willingness to volunteer, but an aversion to politics - to become engaged in the political process.

I have spent the past five years working in the New York City public schools and have three teenage children of my own. There is a generation coming of age that is hopeful, hard-working, innovative and imaginative. But too many of them are also hopeless, defeated and disengaged. As parents, we have a responsibility to help our children to believe in themselves and in their power to shape their future. Senator Obama is inspiring my children, my parents’ grandchildren, with that sense of possibility.

Senator Obama is running a dignified and honest campaign. He has spoken eloquently about the role of faith in his life, and opened a window into his character in two compelling books. And when it comes to judgment, Barack Obama made the right call on the most important issue of our time by opposing the war in Iraq from the beginning.

I want a president who understands that his responsibility is to articulate a vision and encourage others to achieve it; who holds himself, and those around him, to the highest ethical standards; who appeals to the hopes of those who still believe in the American Dream, and those around the world who still believe in the American ideal; and who can lift our spirits, and make us believe again that our country needs every one of us to get involved.

I have never had a president who inspired me the way people tell me that my father inspired them. But for the first time, I believe I have found the man who could be that president - not just for me, but for a new generation of Americans.

Caroline Kennedy is the author of “A Patriot’s Handbook: Songs, Poems, Stories and Speeches Celebrating the Land We Love.”

© 2008 The New York Times



Friday, January 25, 2008

DK and MLK


Hu pega gi pappa’, un mensåhi ginnen Si Dennis Kucinich, put i anten I Ha'anin Martin Luther King Jr. Olaha mohon na lokka'ña hao Dennis! Siempre yanggen lokka'ña hao siña manggana hao gi i botasion Amerikånu!!!

Giya Guahan, in tingo' na yanggen umachånda Si Juan Malimanga yan Si Nano gi un botasion, siempre manggana' Si Juan. Lao ti manggana' gui' put suette, bininitu, minalate' pat pao'fresko. Manggana' gui solo put i etigo'-na Si Nano'. Gi i Comedy Shows guini (gi lågu) todu tiempo ma sångan na ginnen "The Lord of the Rings" Si Kucinich, kulang Elf pat Dwarf. Lao giya Guahån, guaha otro na fina'na'an para este na taotao: Duendes.

Humanao yu' nigap para un dinaña' nai ma gof honora Si MLK, lao bai hu post mas put este agupa' pat agupa’ña. Para på'go, taitai este na palåbras, sa' kumekuentos Si Kucinich put i umababåk-ña i Intenon Demokratik giya i United States. Lao kontat ki ma gof dalalaki i anten i palabras yan finana'guen MLK, siña ma chalåni mo'na ta'lo este na nasion. Gi todu i manmalalago på'go para i Ofisinan Presidente guini, Guiya, Si Kucinich, i mas hihot nu i fino' MLK. Put ayu na rason, hu diside na bai hu pega guini i sinangan-ña.

Ai, lao kulang taibali este, sa' esta tumunok Si Dennis Kucinich gi i botasion, lao sen maolek na Kongresu sinembåtgo. Gi i ma'pos na sakkan gaige gui' gi entre un sen didide' na Kongresu ni' chumochonnek para u mana'suha (impeach) Si Dick Cheney. Hanao para este na website, Ya-ña Hearings Si Wexler: yanggen malago hao sumpotte este na gof impottånte na che'cho'.

Yanggen malago hao sumpotte i mamalago-ña ta'lo para Kongresun Ohio Si Kucinich, hanao para iyo-ña website: Kucinich.us.



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The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.the legacy remembered, the message that should not be forgotten

The homage that Americans pay today to the inspiring life and lasting legacy of Dr. King is a fitting tribute to this leader who spoke so eloquently of peace, of social justice, and of equal rights under the law and under the moral covenant that established and guides this great nation. But, as we survey the grim realities of today, across this country and around the world, that rightful homage also has the somber ring of a faint and distant eulogy for a man and a message from another time.

That other time that we remember and honor was then. But, more than ever, it is also now.

In his speech at Riverside Church in New York City, on April 4, 1967, Dr. King spoke of one war that was destroying the aspirations of the people of two nations - the people of the United States and the people of Vietnam.

The Vietnam War resulted in the deaths of 4 million Vietnamese civilians in a nation of about 40 million - 10% of the total population of Vietnam. Americans lost 58,202 soldiers in that war. And in hard, cold numbers, the Vietnam War cost the United States the equivalent of $662 billion in today's dollars.

So far, today, this no-end-in-sight war against Iraq has resulted in the deaths of more than 1 million innocent Iraqis in a nation of 25 million. Four thousand of our best and bravest have died, and nearly 29,000 have been wounded. In hard, cold numbers, the Iraq War will cost the United States more than $2 trillion.

What would Dr. King say today? What would his message be to the President, to the U.S. Congress, and to the American people? It would be, I deeply believe, the same as it was more than 30 years ago: Iraq is a war that is destroying the aspirations of the people of two nations - the people of the United States and the people of Iraq.

And, it was only two years ago that the leadership of the Democratic Party, without invoking Dr. King but aligning itself with the powerful principles that he espoused, promised an end to the abuse of political power and an end to the war that was devastating the people of two nations. And Americans, believing that promise that we would “be free at last” from the policies that morally and economically enslaved this nation and unrepentantly took control of another, elected a new Democratic leadership in the U.S. House and the U.S. Senate.

Tragically, in the two years since, nothing has changed. The policies of this President persist and prevail. The Congress yields and subjugates itself time and time again. And the powerful, righteous, and universal message of Dr. King has been forgotten.

Dr. King's concluding remarks in his Riverside Church speech called for an end to the disintegration of humanity brought about by war: "Somehow this madness must end," he implored.

It is not in our power to bring Dr. King back, but it is within our power to resurrect his spirit in our daily lives and in the policies of the government that we elect to represent and lead us. He demonstrated throughout his entire life that social and economic justice are achieved not through compromising what we believe, but rather, committing to what we believe – whatever the odds.

In this crucial year for the future of our nation and the future of our world, today is the day to remember Dr. King's words, embrace his spirit, and fortify ourselves with the message that he left for us.

It is time, once again, to ask what we can do to forge ahead – in our votes, in our support, and in everything we do -- to reach that place where his words, his strength, and his optimism become more than a legacy. They become the policy and mission of this nation: "Free at last, free at last, thank God Almighty, I'm free at last."

Dennis Kucinich
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Nuebe Meses

A few days ago i presisu na haggå-hu Sumåhi turned 9 months! Ha silebra i mina'nuebe na kumplemeses-ña gi i kanton tasi. Gi este na mubi, ti siguru yu' kao ya-ña pat ti ya-ña munangu Si Sumåhi. Lao gof paire gui' gi ayu na magågu!



Saturday, January 19, 2008

A Letter on Federalization

The Federalization issue in the CNMI continues to heat up, and as usual the politics that are taking place at the Pentagon and in Congress that has to do with the territories such as the CNMI or Guam, have little to do with the interests of these islands.

The Federalization issue, from the perspective of the Feds is purely an issue of national security and also making it possible for the Department of Defense to take advantage of the labor pool of the CNMI as they look to build up Guam. Here we see a sort of unholy union of liberal activism which seeks to get fair treatment for alien workers in the CNMI, being used as a cover in order to recolonize the Mariana Islands, and prepare them for levels of militarization not seen in two generations. I am still regularly awed by how people, from Guam and not from Guam, can say with straight faces and without blood leaking from their eye sockets, that there is nothing wrong with the way Guam exists politically in relation to the United States, the Feds and the military. Or that there is nothing wrong with what they call in Congress, the "state-like" treatment that Guam gets, and therefore there is no reason to complain or seek any changes.

Despite these assertions, we should really do a headcount of how many residents of states would want to have 30% of their land as military bases, or would be perfectly excited and happy if the military was planning to turn their entire region into one big military camp?

At present the Federalization bill is being snuck into the larger Omnibus bill, in hopes of avoiding any debate or problems with its passage. For those interested in conserving the sovereignty of the CNMI I am pasting below a letter through which you can help their cause. I should say before continuing that I am not endorsing the way alien workers have been treated in the CNMI. The issue at stake with this letter, if there is to be a restructuring of the relationship between the CNMI and the Feds in terms of immigration, it should not be done in the shadows or in secret, with hopes that no one will read or care about what it actually says or is doing. That is why the form letter below is addressed to the Senate Judiciary Committee, and requests that the Federalization bill be taken out of the Omnibus bill and treated as a distinct issue, requiring its own debate and vetting.

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Honorable Senator Joseph R. Biden. Jr.
United States Senate
201 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510-3703

Sent by facsimile (202) 224-0139 or senator_biden@biden.senate.gov

Dear Senator Joseph Biden, Jr.:

I am writing to you as a concerned citizen, regarding S.2483(Title 7), the Immigration, Security and Labor Act that was passed in the House of Representatives in December 2007 (H.R. 3079) and is being fast-tracked as part of the Omnibus bill. As members of the Senate, I urge that S.2483(Title 7) be referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee to be closely reviewed as a stand-alone bill, paying particular attention to its discriminatory nature of the economic and human rights impacts on the people of the Mariana Islands.

Ø S.2483(Title 7) is discriminatory by directly targeting the people of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) and creating greater economic hardships. H.R. 3079 will further the level of poverty by creating more barriers to the development of a local economy, which relies heavily on tourism and investors of tourism[1].

Ø S.2483(Title 7) infringes upon the sovereignty of the indigenous peoples of the CNMI, whose political status was negotiated upon the termination of the United Nations trusteeship. The political rights were determined to be governed by the solemn Covenant, which granted local control of labor and immigration and also in collaboration with the United States. H.R. 3079 would give control of labor and immigration to the Department of Homeland Security, thus undermining the mutual trust and cooperation that has endured for decades.

Ø S.2483(Title 7) may violate the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act. With reports of upwards to 50,000 workers during a 5 to 10 year period that H.R. 3079 may provide to companies seeking a quick means for cheap labor[2] for the intensified military buildup in the CNMI and the neighboring island of Guam, the question remains of the burden on the infrastructure[3],[4] and the resources that is not accounted for by Congressional Budget Office.[5]

Ø S.2483(Title 7) enables abuses of the human rights to self-determination of the Chamorro people of Guam by providing a means to expedite the military buildup that was decided without their consent and participation and against the legal and moral responsibility of the U.S.A, as a signatory of the United Nations Charter, to ensure the full exercise of these human rights.[6]

I urge you to review closely S.2483(Title 7) as single and separate matter from the Omnibus Bill, and to reconsider the facts put forth before you for the sake of peace and stability in these islands and for the human rights of self-determination to which we all are entitled.

Sincerely,

____________________
[1] Fitial, Benigno (2007, August). Speech before the U.S. House of Representatives on H.R. 3079
[2] Dumat-ol Daleno, G. (2007, December 13). NMI Bill Passes in the House. Pacific Daily News
[3] Environmental Protection Agency Civil Case 02-00035
[4] Environmental Protection Agency Civil Case 02-00022
[5] Congressional Budget Office (2007, December 3). Cost estimate prepared for H.R. 3079 Northern Mariana Islands Immigration, Security, and Labor Act.
[6]United Nations (2001 March 22) Second International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism: Report of the Secretary-General, A56/61

Impeachment

Wexler Wants Hearings

A website everyone interested in justice and a new direction for the United States of America, should check out, and become involved in.

For those in Guam and the other territories who don't vote for President, don't have a vote that counts in Congress, yet get sent in huge numbers to the frontlines every American war, the issue of impeachment is still very important. We may not be "full" members of the American family, but the abuses of power that take place at the White House, Congress, the Pentagon all very much affect us.

I wrote last week about the ways in which Guam has been brought into the War on Terror. When Donald Rumsfeld and Company were looking for a place to detain their freshly captured enemy combatants, Guam was one option. This is just one instance where we on Guam could have been made accesories to the abuses and excesses of power and authority that the Bush Administration has wrought. Thankfully the island was spared this, but we are still involved everyday, as the "tip of America's spear." We are still a critical part of America's wars, legal or illegal, moral or immoral. Through the lies of the Bush Administration to get America into a war in the Middle East, we have very much been made an accessory to their violence, their crimes and their abuses.

Last year I got an email that actually informed me, that although we cannot vote for President in Guam and have no vote in Congress, the impeachment of the President and Vice-President is still something we can very much push for. Click on this link for more information: Impeachment from Guam?!



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In other political news, check out these new ads for Al Franken who is running for Senator in Minnesota. The ad with his former teacher was the first political commercial since Mike Huckabee's "Chuck & Huck" ad to make me laugh out loud. Al Franken is so uncomfortable in the ads, but that's what makes him so endearing. He doesn't have alot of polish or flashiness, just his silly jokes and that silly grin. Of course like most Democrats he's not nearly "liberal" enough for me, but still it would be good to have some more politicians in Washington D.C. are trying to be ridiculous on purpose, instead of simply being ridiculous.





Thursday, January 17, 2008

Act of Decolonization #11: Fino' Chamoru

There is little doubt that this world is presently an unfriendly place for the Chamorro language, since although there is in Guam an acceptance of people's right to speak Chamorro, there is still very little effort to revitalize the language, ensuring its survival and making it the language of general instruction and communication. For school and college age Chamorros who have grown up speaking English only, this environment can be surprisingly impossible and hostile as well, as you seem at times to be pushing against the flow of history, since many who do speak Chamorro seem indifferent to passing it on, don't see any value in passing it on, or would rather spend their team teasing you instead of teaching you. I've compiled below, for those interested in learning Chamorro, a series of basic tips to help you cope with this unfriendly or indifferent environment.

But first, let me quote a little bit from the draft philosophy I wrote for Famoksaiyan last year, to stress the importance of learning and speaking Chamorro in the context of decolonization.

"Famoksaiyan is meant to be a space where the creativity, passion and political commitment of Chamorros can come together to reverse these trends and work to forge new means of connecting Chamorros to their islands, their histories and each other, by actively participating in the processes of cultural preservation and re-vitalization. To this end, it is the task of Famoksaiyan to promote Chamorro creativity in theatre, visual arts, music, poetry, fiction, traditional arts, etc. which refuses to accept the themes of cultural death and anthropological loss which have long haunted our people, and instead paint the long history of our people in vibrant and lively tones that testify to our strength, our struggles, our endurance and our persistence in the face of three different empires.

Central to this aesthetic impetus is a commitment to the revitalization of Chamorro language. The process of decolonization is the re-invention of a form, an identity, or a place in relationship to something once conceived of as lost or gone. Over the past two generations the language loss amongst Chamorros on Guam has been terrifying. Anti-Chamorro language policies propagated by both emissaries of the United States and Chamorros themselves have both linked speaking perfect English and ridding of the Chamorro language and accent to better chances at economic prosperity and therefore happiness. As Chamorros of the most recent generation contend with their own language loss, which was either forced from their mouths when they were children or kept hidden from them entirely, what is to be the relationship we define to that loss? Do we accept this loss as American education planners perceived it, as natural death and the only route to progress and the future? Or is decolonization the reversing or the disrupting of this very natural flow by which the path forward is followed? A redefining of what the future can and should be, based on in this instance, what language we will use to meet it, to describe it, to live it?

As the importance of language goes beyond communication alone and extends into the realm of expression and beauty of a world view, the overall process of decolonization is not complete without a revitalizing of Chamorro language, whether in public discourse, everyday conversations, or the arts."

In this spirit, here are 7 tips to help those interested in learning Chamorro. Ti kumekeilek-hu na nahong ha' este na siete na punto, ya kontat ki un dalalalaki yu' siempre kapas hao na fumino' Chamomoru. Guaha otro na manera, guaha otro na inabisa yan tiningo', lao ginnen i masusedi-ku, este na siete na punto un gof maolek na tinituhun (fondashun).

1. Get as many books or texts which utilize the Chamorro language as possible. Dictionaries, children’s books, newspaper articles, song lyrics, etc. These will be good for references, help with words, give you a sense of how sentences are made and just general tips on how the language might flow. A good exercise for learning these basic structures is to take an article, speech or song written in Chamorro, and then work to translate it into English. As you become more fluent, you can work the other way, translating English into Chamorro.

2. Find someone who you feel comfortable working with, who is fluent in the Chamorro language and is willing to help you learn it. This will be your fluent language partner who you should speak Chamorro to as much as you can, and only switching into English if things are completely unclear.

3. Early on, establish a series of simple sentences which can be used to correct things, ask questions about how to say things, so that if there is confusion or a mistake is made, you can continue to speak in Chamorro and not switch to English. At the beginning of learning Chamorro, ask a fluent speaker how to say sentences such as this, “How do you say _____ Chamorro?” “What does ______ mean in English?” “Can I say _____, like this?” “Is this correct?”

4. Create either in person, over the phone or online a language learning community which you will practice making sentences with and also help support each other through difficulties. It is ideal if the people who make up a language circle such as this be at roughly the same level of fluency. If there are members who are either much more fluent than the rest or much less fluent than the rest, then the dynamics of the group will most likely shift in a way where whoever is more fluent will dominate the group and the way the group speaks, or that people will use the less fluent speaker’s problems to inflate or exaggerate their own capabilities.

5. Speak Chamorro as much as possible!

6. Do not simply take anyone’s word for granted when they correct you. Like in any language, there are many different ways to say things and often times people will correct you if say a word they haven’t heard, or create a sentence they haven’t heard before. Since you’re learning of the language comes as an adult and not through immersion, you will often end up conflicting with informal and irregular patterns in Chamorro, which conflict with the logical ways you will understand Chamorro grammar. Do not become discouraged if you make sentences which makes sense to you, but other people claim that its incorrect, this will happen because of the ways you will be forced to manipulate and be creative with the language in order to communicate and make clear what you want to say.

7. Do not ever give up! If people make fun of you or tell you to just quit and give up, remind them that it takes at least two people to kill a language. Those who don’t want to or refuse to learn it, and those who don’t want to or refuse to teach it. People will tease you and then most likely tell you to toughen up, because teasing and joking around is part of our culture. If this happens (and it will) just tell them that they can tease you, only if they decide to teach you as well! So many fluent Chamorros would rather tease those learning instead of helping and so its important to remind them of their obligation as fluent language speakers to make sure the language is passed on. They can’t expect others to teach you and them to simply get away with making fun of you, as the number of Chamorro language speakers dwindles and the spaces where the language is spoken radically decrease, everyone who speaks Chamorro is responsible for teaching the language, all the time, there can be no breaks to simply make fun of people, and anyone who claims otherwise either doesn’t actually know the language as well as they claim, is lazy, doesn’t take the preservation or revitalization of Chamorro language seriously, or enjoys the privilege of being someone who can speak the language and actually wants to protect that privilege.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

A Letter from the Frontlines


At present I'm trying to extend the scope of my blog and its readership beyond just Chamorros who stumble across my blog because they are googling around trying to find the lyrics to the song Apo Magi or Japanese businessmen and American military who are searching for massage parlors on Guam. This shift was prompted when I received a new visitor to my blog, Carbondate, a progressive military blogger who is currently stationed on Guam. The name of his blog is the command post, and he has some very good commentary there, on the presidental races in the US and New Orleans, which everyone should check out.

Last month he wrote a post about my blog titled "Chamorro Blogger: Remnants of Colonialism" which not only linked people to this blog, but also informed people in the United States in a very straightforward and clear way about Guam's status as a contemporary American colony. It is rare to see people from the United States on the internet speak so frankly about this without coercion or convincing on the behalf of maladjusted activists such as myself. Usually on this sort of topic, I encounter people who are of the complete opposite opinion and need to be slapped around for a bit first, to shake off their layers of ignorance and delusion. For them, even if the relationship between Guam and the United States is obviously colonial, their response is a defensive "so what?", because the United States is the greatest country in the world, and so better a colony of the US, then anything else, independent or otherwise.
According to this post, Carbondate is making one of his blog's progressive missions to inform other Americans about the colonial situations of Guam and Puerto Rico. A rareity amongst progressive bloggers in the United States, which tend to ignore the plights of the American territories or just think of them as sort of states which are majority brown people, he is clearly and openly advocating for both of their decolonization, and pushing others in the United States to recognize this need as well.

Yet he is doing this with an understandable caveat, which I'll quote below:

However, I recognize that this type of change does not come of its own accord. The people of these U.S. territories need to demand the change and not take "no" for an answer. This is how women won the right to vote, it's how the labor laws of the early 20th century were passed, and it's how the civil rights legislation of the 1960s was passed. It's also how our territories are going to win, at a minimum, equal standing with the states, if not outright independence.

Power is never given; it is only ever taken. So to my neighbors on Guam I say, "take the power back".

All the informing of people in the United States won't mean anything, unless there are movements in our islands which can take advantage or work with this de-nationalized consciousness, to make decolonization possible, to make it work. For the past few year's I've been working with so many other dedicated activists on Guam and in the diaspora, Chamorros and non-Chamorros on building this sort of consciousness, and given the summit which was held last month, it is clear that we are making some progress. There is, as always, much more work to be done. Bula'la' na cho'cho' tetehnan para ta cho'gue.

I think however, as frightening as it might be, that the impending military buildups to the island, which will bring more than 20,000 new military personnel and their dependents to the island, is actually a big help in this process. As the island, without our consent is about to be innundated again with more military than we can probably handle, and pressed into serving in a war that we might not want or care for, more and more people, and not just the "activists" or the "Chamorro nation types" are starting to realize the unfairness of our situation. Starting to realize that the America which we think and wish we were a part of, is really interested in what is best for our island or what we need or want, but always has other plans for us, which always involve the further militarization of Guam.
But as I work with others on this, I am also trying to make connections and basically help Carbondate in the politicization of people in the United States, and the informing them of the status of Guam, and their obligation in decolonizing it. In this spirit, I recently joined up with the Out of Iraq Bloggers Caucus, which is made up of dozens of bloggers who are invested in getting the United States out of Iraq. Like most liberal/progressive communities, these are people who might be sympathic or supportive with those of us who are working towards Guam's decolonization, but either have no knowledge or very little knowledge about its status. For them Guam is either nothing or it is simply a military base. They idea that it a number of military bases which take up 30% of the 210 sq. miles of an island whose indigenous people the Chamorros have been fortunate enough to endure the past century of American colonization, is simply beyond anything they could fathom.

To kick off this move on my blog, I'd like to share with everyone an email/letter to the editor from a Chamorro serving his second tour in Iraq. Si Yu'us Ma'ase Charissa sa' Hagu muna'hanaogue yu' ni' este. Fotte i siniente, ya sina ha fa'na'gue hit meggai put i estao-ta giya Guahan.
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This essay was written in my effort to express a local perspective into a war few in the media, and island understand. I sent it to Pacific Daily News, after making contact with a editor through email and was asked to write and send pictures. I did and found no response since. I could not find a contact in Marianas Variety so if any do please forward this, with the intention of remembering those from the Islands who have served and remain a ripple in the pond, have created change and are a part of a change regardless if seen as good or bad, honorable men and women who gave, or give the ultimate sacrifice, being gone for long periods of time from their families or to a higher place....................

First and for most, I would like to convey my families condolences to the to former senator Umpingco's family. All people from all parts of Guam, appreciate the sacrifice he, and his family gave to serve our Island.

I write to you not for fame or recognition, but to share a event that might bring the war closer to home, and sharing one of my experience's in Iraq. This is a example of the emotional rolacoster that we face everyday. I hope that those that read this (if published) understand my intentions for it's weight in my heart compelled me to write .......

I arrived In Balad, Iraq with high hopes of finding friends and family, like I did in 2006. A second tour for me, and a holiday free tour in the sand box. I met the Guam National Guards 909th, Gil Reyes of Yona, Craig, my second cousin from Malojojo and David Quimbao from Talofofo, a childhood friend and brother in arms. To my surprise and dismay, those days of comfort and taste of home no longer existed. I visited the former building of the 909th, and asked a officer I saw walking out if he knew where the the Chamoru's were and he looked at me with a no idea. I found it alittle disturbing considering the big cement mortar barrier with the 909th emblem and Guam seal to their backs, and they still had no idea of whom I speak.

As I drove away with mixed feelings about them being gone and me being alone, and reassuring my self of the better morning my comrades will have because they will wake up too their families in Guam, something struck me to the core. A man was standing along the fence line with a little girl in his arms courting with the other towards the little girl in his arms saying loud and clear " Gift, Gifts, Gift", as to gesture something from the impenetrable walls that divide us. To help clarify what a man was doing out side the fence, I must explain. Outside the wire, farmers tend to their sunflower patches, and other vegetables while still tending to the children and live stock. All my training did not prepare me for what I was seeing. I could respond to incoming mortar, and taking on enemy fire, but this hopefully innocent gesture by this farmer, did me in. All my thoughts of fighting and unhappiness from being away from home stopped. I did what every well trained sailor or soldier would do.....

I have flown in helicopters over homes made of clay and farms as green as the Talofofo valleys in the middle of a desert, I have seen many of things, nothing more troubling than the man outside the wire with that little girl. It brought to light questions of this war, and what that man, like those of his country think. With Guam always in my mind, and the image of that man and child staring in the fence, I immediately related with the thought of us Chamoru's looking in the fence on our own land, and saw me and my 2 girls (Ha'ani & Sinahi), looking at the already crowded island with base's extending the fence lines with the soon movement of Marines, and the island's economic hand being led into reliance on the federal government or foreign investors. Every day away from my family, and Guam, the more I ponder on our course as a people, just like those in Iraq hoping the effort put into this war, and it's restructuring is really for their benefit.

To those fellow Chamoru's who have served and sacrificed their lives, I remember you and your sacrifice, and use that fuel to keep my head up with the love from my wife and two kids.
If I could convey one message, to people in Guam, " Hita I man Taotao Tano! Hita I kutura, I linguahi, i biblia, I ire yan I Tano Chamoru!" Your pains are the pains of every people, no matter the shades of ones skin, we must work toward a common goal of affordability in our home land, and our acceptance of changes on our own terms.

Saina Ma'ase,
Sean R, "Aguon" Sanchez

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Hunggan Sina Hit!

Desde hu taitai i lepblo-na "The Audacity of Hope" dumidide dumidide muya-hu Si Barack Obama.

Hunggan, esta hu tungo' na ti mismo gaige gui' gi i bandan inakague' (Lefist), lao ti puniyon na sen maolek na pa'pagat gui'. Gof kapas kumuentos gi me'nan linahayan. Atan este na pinagat ginnen annai ti manggana' gui' giya New Hampshire. Achokka' ti manggana' gui', annok ginnen i fuetsa gi i sinangan-na, na tumutugon gui' mo'na taiatkagueti gi este na karera.

Hunggan, hu konfotme i mensahi este na pinagat. "Hunggan Sina Hit!!!"


Friday, January 11, 2008

Ti Hita La'mon

Umesgen este ginnen i inetnon World Can't Wait.

Para hamyo ni' esta maleffa, gi i tinituhun, annai ma arresta i fine'nina na "enemy combatants" siha, mama'tinas i Pentagon "list." Gi este na lista ma pega todu i lugat ni' sina inos para u pinengle siha. Ma pega gi esta na lista, lao ti ma ayek, i na'ån i bunita na islå-ta, Guahån.

Ai, guaha nai ti hu hongge i binachet i taotao Guahån. Atan i kustumbren i Amerikånu siha yan i militat-ñiha! Ma chule' magi i geran-ñiha gi i Tiempon Chapoñes, ya ma kechule' magi ta'lo i geran-ñiha gi este na "War on Terror." Ya ai adai ta'lo, ti Hita la'mon. Ti Hita la'mon.

Todu tiempo, hu faifaisen maisa yu' este. "Ngai'an nai para ta atotga tumulaika este na estao-ta?”

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The WORLD CAN'T WAIT is joining with the ACLU, Amnesty International and the National Religious Campaign Against Torture and others in actions around the country, with the key protest in Wash., DC demanding the shutdown of this vile prison and demanding an end to torture and indefinite detention. - worldcantwait.org

Join Observances of Int'l Day of Action to Shut Down Guantánamo in San Diego
Friday, January 11th NOON - 1pm San Diego Federal Bldg - Front Street (near Broadway) Friday Night from 4:00 to 5:30 PM Hillcrest: Corner of 6th & University. -- wear Orange and bring (signs, banners, T-Shirts ...)
Other things you can do:

1) Wear and distribute orange ribbons, armbands, etc. at your school, workplace, market, etc. Write the name of a Guantanamo detainee on each one. You can find a list of names -online f rom Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia .
There are also significant statistics (i.e., 86% were captured when bounties were offered) here.

2) Hang a Stop Torture banner from a building or freeway. PDF's available at worldcantwait.org under organizing materials.

Friday, Jan 11, 2008 will mark six years since the first prisoners were brought to the detention camp in Guantanamo. Many are still being held there, without charges brought against them, and no right to trial. We must show it or it doesn't count. It begins with you taking personal responsibility to show how you feel and where you stand: wear orange daily, spread orange everywhere, protest and speak out in every way you can. As this orange resistance spreads to millions who represent the majority sentiment, Bush and Cheney's illegitimacy to rule will stand out vividly before the world.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

The Dots of American Sovereignty

The deadline for abstracts for the conference I am helping organize on March 5-7 of this year, "Postcolonial Futures in a Not Yet Postcolonial World: Locating the Intersections of Ethnic, Indigenous and Postcolonial Studies," passed yesterday. We received alot of exciting abstracts, but are still considering extending the deadline until January 16th to solict a couple more.

I've posted over the past few months some of the reasons why I think this conference is important and timely. In December for instance I wrote "Indigenous Futures in a Not Yet Postcolonial World," which discusses some of the theoretical needs in the academic world, that make this conference necessary.

I passed by another reason last week, at the Morongo Native American reservation, east of Riverside.

Across the United States, there are literally hundreds of points like this. For most people in the United States they appear to be little more than casinos run by poor destitute Native Americans, or money grubbing Indians. For many others, such as in San Diego county they are simply invisible. Yet despite this inability to see any political meaning behind these sites, they nonetheless do constitute different nations, different sovereign groups. Their existence in a very fundamental way challenges the existence of the United States, challenges its own claims to sovereignty.

This challenge, this sort of persistent resistance appears in so many mundane everyday ways, especially when the issue of "real" Americaness emerges. The challenges are treated even as they are felt as tiny, small, minute, nothing important,, but this reaction is a defensive one. It is meant to neutralize the importance of the challenge, meant to make it seem simply exceptional and nothing more. Certainly nothing foundational, nothing which would question the foundations of the United States, or who "really owns this land?" Who can really claim to be its center?

Take for instance this exchange from an episode of NYPD Blue.

A Russian Woman: Marina. Strangled and raped. What is wrong with this country?

Detective Andy Sipowicz: What's wrong with this country? I'll tell you what's wrong; it's all these foreigners coming over here.

Detective Bobby Simone: Detective Sipowicz here is one of the few Native American Poles.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

What We Bury At Night

Julian Aguon will have a book reading and a book signing for his third book, "What we Bury at Night: Disposable Humanity", on Jan. 8 at The Venue in Hagåtña.

The book documents the present day realities surrounding the United States' current relationship with Micronesia. The book is the result of his work from his time as a Sam Cohen International Human Rights Fellowship, which Aguon was awarded last year.

For more information, contact Aguon at 472-4062.

Friday, January 04, 2008

100 Years

As I've written regularly about over the past few weeks, in March of next year at UCSD, my department of Ethnic Studies we'll be hosting a conference titled "Postcolonial Futures in a Not Yet Postcolonial World: Locating the Intersections of Ethnic, Indigenous and Postcolonial Studies."

To say a little bit about the goals behind the conference, we are hoping to take each of the three previously mentioned academic disciplines as well as the political realities they mean to study, and bring them not just into conversation with each other, but also bring them in conversation with the idea and the force that is the global. For those who don't know what I mean by global, since it is kind of an utguyosu na academic term, its not anything too abstract, but is simply anything which can appear or is asserted to stand in for, represent or touch the entire world.

Indigenous, ethnic and postcolonial studies, are all academic domains which are directed towards particular peoples or regions of the world today. Ethnic studies is primarily thought and written to be a US based discipline, providing theoretical and political challenges on behalf of minority and non-white groups in the United States. Postcolonial studies can potentially be about any nation or people, which has struggled against colonialism and in differing ways started the process of decolonization, but is widely considered to be a discipline for Asian Americans, in particular people from India and South Asia. Indigenous studies could also potentially refer to a wide range of people, since close to 400 million people in the world today can be identified according to the United Nations as indigenous. Indigenous studies however tends to be a discipline which doesn't just follow the existence of indigenous people, but rather depends upon indigenous people having a certain level of visibility or political power, whereby they can form the basis for these academic traditions.

In all of these disciplines we find the potential for their vision and scope to be global or to include at least huge sections of the world in their analysis and theoretical subjects, yet for the most part, this dimension isn't explored. The main goal of this conference is to break or at least transgress the borders that these disciplines put around themselves, and see what the particular struggles, successes, failures, epistemologies and challenges that each is invested in, can provide in terms of better theorizing and mapping means to fight contemporary injustices.

I am considering writing up a proposal for this conference, which discuss Guam and what its political status today can tell us about the current make up of the world and where it might be heading. Guam is one of the few remaining official colonies left in the world, making it sort of a sad exception in a world which has appeared to have "gotten over" colonialism. There is no easy way to talk about colonialism or the current status of Guam, because the obvious weight and course of history can make even the most ignorant person today reply as if they were the wisest person in the universe, "Colonialism? Yeah right!" Yet despite this almost stone solid blindness of so many people, colonialism persists in Guam and a few other places around the world in such banal and frustrating fashions.

This status makes Guam one of the world's most insignificant places. In newspapers, websites, blogs, by both Chamorros and non Chamorros, everywhere, you'll find this. Its not really exotic, not really prosperous, not really authentic, not really America, not really Asia, not really the Pacific. Yet at the same time, Guam is one of the world's most important places. It is one of the United States' most important military bases, because of its proximity to Asia and because of its ambiguous political status, the fact that its a colony and not a state or a foreign country.

This is what I think a discussion about Guam can bring to the conference. A discussion about the importance of small things, places which are supposed to be insignificant and tiny, invisible, yet at the same time, for power such as the United States, these places are crucial, critical, important and have their own forms of hyper visibility as military bases. One of the things that Guam can help us get at in terms of the global order, is that there is an incredible amount of power that goes into something appearing to be nothing, and there is an incredible amount of power in the ability to benefit and profit from something and continue to have it appear as nothing.

Another issue, which Guam can help us understand emerged recently on the campaign trail in Iowa a few days ago, and that is the issue of American bases on other people's backyards. In a townhall meeting, Republican Presidential candidate John McCain was asked what he thought about US troops staying in Iraq for as long as 50 years. McCain responded, "why not make it 100." For McCain the issue of whether or not troops should remain in Iraq, or anywhere else didn't seem to be an issue of timeliness, necessity or even respect to another nation's interests or sovereignty, but it was simply a matter of how US troops are treated. For McCain the determining factor was whether or not US troops are dying and being killed daily. If not, then just as the US has stayed in places such as South Korea and Japan for more than five decades, they can stay in Iraq as well.

This position isn't simply John McCain's alone, its an assumption that the Defense Department seems to be using to reconfigure its global sea of military bases. This is a dynamic which Guam, as a site which will soon be receiving unwanted military from South Korea and Okinawa can be important and very helpful in explaining. In Guam we find another site where the out of place presence of American troops is nonetheless naturalized in such a way that it seems not just that they've been there forever, but that they are wanted there, and that there can be no "there" without them. In Guam we find this displayed in such visceral and grotesque ways, as Guam is dependent upon the United States military for almost everything past and present, and could not exist, past and present without the US military. Without them Guam would have been destroyed in World War II, or in the Cold War, or today destroyed by terrorists. The economy could not survive, Chamorros could not survive, there would be no infrastructure, no prosperity. The logic which justifies the presence of the US military in Guam and elsewhere, but also keeps people on Guam trapped in a very colonial mindset in thinking about the island's dependency on them as being eternal, is the fantasy of an imperial military. Everywhere we go, we do nothing but good and liberation, and wherever we stay, could not exist or survive without us.

We can find this rhetoric also in other American military bases, how they run the economy, how the nations they are built on could not exist without them because of the historical liberation they provided and the contemporary security they provide. But it is in a place such as Guam, which has the unfortunate status of being both small and kind of American, where this rhetoric reaches incredible heights.

Ai na'ma'ase na manchenglong hit gi este na gigao "dependency." Gi unu na kannai mantaibali hit, gi i otro gof gaibali, lao i bali ti mismo iyo-ta. I Amerikånu siha, manggefsaga', manriku, manmetgot. Hita, manggagu, mampopble, manñalang. Ma sangåni hit na tåya' hit sin Siha, ya fihu ta hongge siha. Ti ta atotga tumacha este na hinengge, fihu ta aksepta kulang lai Yu'us. Ya i hinasson Siha ni' umaksesepta este, kulang acho', osino gi i fino' Ingles, ma'i'ot i hinasson-ñiha. Ma li'e gi i kannai i Amerikånu siha, todu i kosas lina'la' yan adilånto. Ya giya Hita, tåya' minaolek, puru ha' binaba. Pues humuyongña, todu ni' Chamorro, ti nahong, ti kabåles, buente bunita didide', lao ti dudayon na ti nahong. Pues debi di ta akihom yan fa'iyo-ta todu ni' Amerikånu. Sa' ayu ha' taimanu sina ta na'kabåles hit. Lao gi este na estao, todu tiempo para ta fanafa'chatli'e put iyo-ta dependency taifinakpo', ya ta guaiya ya dimuyi i Amerikånu put i tinakhilo'-ñiha.


McCain in NH: Would Be "Fine" To Keep Troops in Iraq for "A Hundred Years
From the Mother Jones Blog

The United States military could stay in Iraq for "maybe a hundred years" and that "would be fine with me," John McCain told two hundred or so people at a town hall meeting in Derry, New Hampshire, on Thursday evening. Toward the end of this session, which was being held shortly before the Iowa caucuses were to start, McCain was confronted by Dave Tiffany, who calls himself a "full-time antiwar activist." In a heated exchange, Tiffany told McCain that he had looked at McCain's campaign website and had found no indication of how long McCain was willing to keep U.S. troops in Iraq. Arguing that George W. Bush's escalation of troops has led to a decline in U.S. casualties, McCain noted that the United States still maintains troops in South Korea and Japan. He said he had no objection to U.S. soldiers staying in Iraq for decades, "as long as Americans are not being injured, harmed or killed."

After the event ended, I asked McCain about his "hundred years" comment, and he reaffirmed the remark, excitedly declaring that U.S. troops could be in Iraq for "a thousand years" or "a million years," as far as he was concerned. The key matter, he explained, was whether they were being killed or not: "It's not American presence; it's American casualties." U.S. troops, he continued, are stationed in South Korea, Japan, Europe, Bosnia, and elsewhere as part of a "generally accepted policy of America's multilateralism." There's nothing wrong with Iraq being part of that policy, providing the government in Baghdad does not object.

In other words, McCain does not equate victory in Iraq--which he passionately urges at campaign events--with the removal of U.S. troops from that nation. After McCain told Tiffany that he could see troops remaining in Iraq for a hundred years, a reporter sitting next to me quipped, "There's the general election campaign ad." He meant the Democratic ad: John McCain thinks it would be okay if U.S. troops stayed in Iraq for another hundred years.....

Well, it was straight talk. And McCain's combativeness livened up a session during which he alternated between the old McCain (as in punchy, feisty, humorous) and the old McCain (as in just plain old). He moved a bit stiffly on the stage set up in the middle of the Adams Memorial Opera House. And he--somewhat oddly--shared the spotlight with Senator Joseph Lieberman, who has endorsed him. Lieberman did not merely introduce McCain; he stood by McCain during the entire event, helping McCain to answer questions about education, climate change, and the Iraq war. Several times, Lieberman gave more coherent and animated replies than did McCain. Repeatedly, Lieberman maintained that McCain could rack up bipartisan successes as president. (The Lieberman sidekick bit was curious. But an elementary-age girl in the audience did say, after being handed a microphone, that Lieberman was her role-model and that she fancied McCain. Lieberman hugged her, and the whole crowd oohed at this cuteness.)

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Sovereignty and the Problem of Recognition

I've just finished setting up my conference schedule for the rest of the school year, and it looks pretty exciting. In addition to the two conferences that I am organizing (click here for info on one, and I'll have more info on the other very soon), I've got four academic papers that I'll be presenting at conferences all around the country. The most exciting panel that I'll be on will be at the 2008 Indigenous Studies Conference at the University of Georgia.

I'll be joined on this panel by three of my friends, to discuss in different ways the concept or spirit of "sovereignty" in the lives of Native Americans and Pacific Islanders. The title of our panel is Sovereignty and the Problem of Recognition.

I'll post the panel description and abstracts below, since it'll explain where we are coming from better than I will. I've got a lot on my plate right now in terms of preparing for the new school quarter and then all the other writing and activist commitments I put off while I was on Guam. Coming up tomorrow, I've got another article that I have to write for Guampedia, and an article for the activist group YANO.

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Sovereignty and the Problem of Recognition

The concept of sovereignty is something enables, inhibits indigenous political and intellectual movements. It is something which indigenous people, through vast frameworks of racism and infantilization are continually denied. Yet at the same time it is something which they struggle to find creative ways to discover and create. In this panel, we will interrogate from different spaces and intellectual domains, this precarious nature of sovereignty and the role of “recognition” in its constitution and in determining who can “have” sovereignty and who must be “given” sovereignty.

To do this, we will explore how sovereignty is withheld from indigenous peoples whether through the issues of land with Native Hawaiians, authenticity, tribal termination and Native Americans or even the theoretical erasure we find in disciplines such as international relations and political science. As all the panel members are graduate students in Ethnic Studies, we will also discuss the theoretical and intellectual inroads that indigenous peoples in the United States and the Pacific Islands are making, to demand sovereignty or remake it on their own terms, whether through our own interventions in our departments, the struggles of Pacific Islanders on American campuses, or the ways in indigenous peoples are beginning to articulate themselves globally.

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Spectacles of Citizenship:
Native Hawaiian Representations and Rights


Maile Arvin
University of California, San Diego


In October 2006, Japanese real estate tycoon Genshiro Kawamoto announced he would “give away” multimillion dollar houses on O‘ahu to eight “deserving” Native Hawaiian families. Similarly, a September 2007 episode of ABC’s Extreme Home Makeover chronicled a hard-working Native Hawaiian family as their flood-damaged home was replaced with a mansion.
In the last few years, poverty and homelessness among Native Hawaiians living in Hawai‘i has found a certain kind of spotlight in local, national and international media. Fueled by the hyperbole of reality television and a classic tourism-driven search to find both paradise and authenticity, Native Hawaiians are conveniently placed at the heart of these supposedly new narratives about Hawai‘i. This discourse of spectacle philanthropy elides any critical engagement with the conditions that create poverty in Hawai‘i, and particularly fails to address Native Hawaiians as an indigenous group.

While Native Hawaiians can be written in local and national media as distinct culturally, calls for sovereignty are often portrayed in media as outrageous, against both local and national “common sense.” Using the above philanthropic examples that pointedly seize upon issues of housing as an entry point, my paper will address the ways various public discourses silence articulations of Native Hawaiian sovereignty that dare clamor for land rights. In Hawai‘i’s reigning liberal multiculturalism, where non-natives frequently claim status as “Hawaiian at heart,” critical projects of sovereignty emerge on a stage fraught with contentions about citizenship and distribution of rights, in the U.S. as well as any sovereign alternative.

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Decolonizing Klamath Termination:
Colonialism, Factionalism and Authenticity


Angela Morrill
University of California, San Diego


The Klamath Termination Act, P.L. 587 was a federal policy passed into law in 1954 whose stated purpose was to end federal services and supervision of the Klamath Tribe in Oregon. The Klamath were represented to Congress as assimilated, and “one of the most advanced Indian groups in the United States.” Later, a report by the Stanford Research Institute determined termination would be detrimental to the tribe yet termination was enacted in 1961. In 1986 the Klamath tribe was restored and once again federally recognized but without recovering their land base. By examining the impact of colonialism on the discussion of factionalism in books and articles about Klamath termination, I argue that the differences between Klamath tribal members were not only historic and political but based on strategic differences. Why is factionalism a prominent characterization of Native Americans? What effect did the characterization of the Klamath as factionalized have on the tribe at the time of termination and beyond? The Klamath tribe was restored to federal recognition in 1986, but disenrollment is a problem with gaming tribes in California, and the threat of termination is not a thing of the past, since it was recently suggested by California Congresswoman Diane Watson as retribution for the Cherokee disenrollment of the descendents of the Freedmen. I argue that answers to these issues of authenticity may lie in recognition of indigeneity as global, persistent, and focused on the struggle for human rights as well as sovereignty.

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A Critique from the Dots on the Map of American Sovereignty or
…George W. Bush as a Theorist of Sovereignty

Michael Lujan Bevacqua
University of California, San Diego


For those who today form nations which are not nation-states, which are nations within nation or colonies, the dominant definitions of sovereignty place them in a potentially precarious and powerless position. Sovereignty, in the sense that we find as defined by international relations and political science is obsessed with states and with modern frameworks which were developed through the explicit exclusion of indigenous peoples. These definitions recognize only one true authority within every territory, and thus indigenous people and their aspirations and struggles become reduced to minute details or exceptions, which irritate the sovereignty of the formal state, but mean little else.

Therefore, if we look at the existences of those who constitute the legal empire of the United States today, we do not see a collection of people who are being pushed along a progressive mythical path into modern self-governance and sovereignty. Instead, we see millions of people, forced off of any road to sovereignty, and forcefully directed into legal and theoretical dead-ends. In the United States, this waiting room of history is populated by Chamorros, Native Americans and others, the governing of which fall under the jurisdiction as the same Federal Agency which is in charge of maintaining the fish, wildlife and forests of the United States.

My goal for this paper is to discuss a productive notion of sovereignty for these populations, through the focusing on the exceptionality of indigenous communities today in relation to the constitution of modern nation-states.

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Indians, Islanders and Indigeneity:
The Pacific Islander Movement at UC Berkeley

Michael Gumataotao Tuncap
University of California, Berkeley


My discussion will focus on the continuing struggles of Pacific Islander graduate and undergraduate students at the University of California, Berkeley to achieve intellectual sovereignty and recognition. These struggles have included and continue to include: 1. The disaggregation of Pacific Islanders from the administrative and intellectual category of Asian American. 2. The appropriation of separate funding for Pacific Islander student recruitment and retention programs. 3. The recognition of Pacific Islanders as sovereign indigenous peoples, and therefore facilitate the building of stronger intellectual and political coalitions and ties with American Indian and other native groups on campus. 4. The establishment of a Pacific Islander Studies Program and the hiring of a Pacific Islander Studies professor.

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