Showing posts from October, 2009

I'd Rather Be Activating

Sigh, there is so much going on right now, that could possibly dictate the future of Guam in terms of the military buildup. I should be out organizing right now, or working with other like minded people who are either trying to halt, stall or re-negotiate this buildup. I should at least be paying very close attention to what's going on so I can help disseminate the information which the media on Guam is ignoring or which the military doesn't want people to know or think very much about.

Sadly, I am not doing much of that right now, since I have a stack of papers to grade.

Puede ha' ti taiguihi para todu i lina'la'-hu gi kolehu. Puede ha', para bai hu espiha empenu put taimanu sina hu na'dana' maolek i lina'la' i fafana'gue yan i lina'la' activist.

Debi di bei hasso na este i fine'nina na semester giya UOG, yan siempre lumafa'set este gi tiempo.

But regardless, here are some current events in Guam that both myself and all of you …

Kellogg, Brown and Rape

I posted last week about Al Franken's first amendment that has passed in the US Senate. Named the "Jamie Leigh Jones Amendment" it was meant to keep Federal military contracts away from corporations who force their employees to sign secret arbitration contracts, which prevent them from taking to court anyone who sexually harasses or sexually assaults them, and furthermore prevents them from even suing their companies (should they find this foreclosing of justice a bit unfair). The amendment is named for a woman who had a horrifying experience while working for a military contractor in Iraq. Here is the short version of her story according to Senator Franken's office:

When Jamie was 19, she was working for then Halliburton subsidiary KBR in Iraq, where she was placed in a barracks with 400 men. She complained about sexual harassment, but KBR took no action and she was eventually drugged and gang-raped by co-workers. When she tried to report what had happened, KBR locke…

I'll Be Sitting at the Transitional Table this Weekend

I didn't even realize it, but my name was mentioned in both The Marianas Variety and The Pacific Daily News this week. This Saturday, October 24th from 1 - 3 pm, my grandfather, Tun Jack Lujan and myself will be presenting on the history of Chamorro blacksmithing and traditional tools, at the T. Stell Newman Center outside of Big Navy. Our presentation is part of the exhibit Transitional Table: Guam's Shifting Food Traditions During and After World War II. The exhibit opened at the museum on October 13th and will remain open until November 21st. As I wrote about earlier on this blog, I helped with the researching and the writing of this exhibit, and I'm very pleased with how it turned out.

In his presentation, grandpa will talk about his experiences growing up and being taught to be a blacksmith by his father Tun Marianao L.G. Lujan, and also his experiences blacksmithing during World War II, and how him and his father helped provide necessary tools for Chamorro farmers who…

Judith Butler on the UC system

Hafa hinassosso-mu put Si Judith Butler yan i che'cho'-na?

Annai hu tuthuhun i lina'la'-hu gi eskuelan Grad, guaha nai ti komprendeyon i tinige'-na siha, pi'ot put "gender" yan "sex." Estaba kalang taya' sensia-ku put asunton "gender yan sexuality" pues ti hu hulat gumacha i tinige'-na Si. Ma gof dingu i chi-na siha i hinasso-ku.

Lao ti apmam, mana'payon yu' gi i hinasso-na siha. Dumidide' dumidide' hu tumutuhun kumomprende hafa kumekeilek-na, ya pues humuyongna na hu gof agradesi taimanu ha puga' asunto siha put hemplo gender, sex yan i tahtaotao.

Lao para i mannatibu na feminists siha, fihu ma sangan na Si Butler gof conservative, pat gof liberal. Ha sangan na apa'ka na palao'an gui' ya pues todu tiempo manunuge' gui ginnen ayu na estao. Ti sina ha dingu i estao-na, pues achokka' gof "radical" i tininge'-na siha gi este na banda, gof otdinario gi i otro banda. Gi iyo-ku…

We Are Always Stronger Than We Think...But Not Always As Strong as We Think

Two years ago, the United Nations, after more than 20 years of debating, at long last passed the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People. Depending on your particular circumstances as an indigenous person, and what existing "sovereign" nation-state claims your land or your destiny, this was either a hopeful sign or a twisted and sad spectacle.

For me personally, the adoption of the Declaration came at the perfect moment. I was in New York the following month testifying before the United Nations about the current situation on Guam. When I got there a few days prior to testifying, I wandered around the streets of New York trying to figure out what to say. I wanted to come up with something that others from Guam wouldn't cover or address, but which I could also speak to with very little reading up or research. In other words, something interesting and unique, that could be written in a few hours.
The Declaration seemed like the perfect point to address. Chamorros on Gu…

Indigenous Resources and Asian American Journalists

Being on Guam for the past year, I haven't been traveling around much for conferences. I've participated in plenty on Guam, but haven't had the experience of writing a new academic paper/presentation in a while. Here are two conferences that I'm considering applying for next year.

If anyone is interested in being on a panel let me know.


Engaging Indigenous Communities Conference: Resources, Rebellions, and Resurgence - Call For Papers

August 9-13, 2010

Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada

This conference is being undertaken in honour of the 1850 Robinson Treaties. The vision of the Anishinabeg leaders to protect our heritage and resources while sharing with the newcomers. It is this vision that remains as relevant today as it was 160 years ago. Contact between different peoples has resulted in a multitude of responses including peaceful interactions, uneasy relations, and far too often to war and genocide. Recognizing the autonomy of nations to d…


Earlier this year in May, I helped organize and participated in an event called Chule' Tatte Guahan or Reclaim Guahan. It took place on May 23rd and was an all day event at Skinner's Plaza, that featured music, art, information and activism. For me personally, it was an important event because it represented the first time that I was working on an event such as this on Guam. I've helped organize big and small conferences or activist events in the states, but never something like this on Guam. For most of the organizers, who became known as "Guahan Youth," they underwent a similar experience.

Some had returned recently from living or going to school in the states. Others had been involved in different grass roots or activist groups locally but never been on the frontline, never the main faces or the main voices, or most importantly those whom the main responsibility would fall upon. I was very involved early on, when the original idea was to try to lobby the Guam L…

The Question of Guam

I'll have more details soon on this year's trip to the United Nation's, but in the meantime, here's: THE UN report on the Petitioners speaking on The Question of Guam. It contains, summaries of the testimonies presented dealing with Guam.


MICHAEL TUNCAP, of the Pacific Islands Study Group of the University of California, Berkeley, said that as a descendant of a 4,000 year civilization that had existed before the nations of Germany, France, Great Britain and the United States, he requested that the United Nations recognize the inalienable right to self-determination of Guam. The continued occupation of United States military forces in Guam and the Northern Marianas Islands was rooted in a system of racial inequality between European Americans, Asian and Pacific settlers and the indigenous Chamorro people.

He said that since initial contact with the United States in 1898, massive pacification and military occupation had prevented the people of Guam fro…