Dissecting the DEIS

For the past few weeks I've been working with some friends on writing columns for the Marianas Variety about things that we've found and analyzed about the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for Guam's military buildup. The Variety has been published them daily as DEIS Perspectives, and even some members of the community, who I didn't contact have been joining the discussion. They will keep publishing the columns until the DEIS comment period ends Feb. 17th.
I published a column the week before last, and I'm currently working on another right now (ti apmam munhayan). The point of these columns was that, so many people have been talking about the DEIS and about the military buildup, but most haven't actually seen the document and perhaps don't actually know what's in it. While, I am happy to hear more and more voices which are speaking critically and negatively about the buildup, I am always happier when those voices come from a place of knowledge or engagement. The main goal of the columns wasn't to attack the buildup, but rather to show what was in the DEIS (which makes it worth attacking) and then hopefully give people the tools to write their own critical comments.

The first column that appeared a few weeks ago was written by Marie Ada Auyong and very effectively gave some background on the DEIS process and how to write good comments. In the time since, there have been great columns on jobs, roads, the economy, the environment and the firing range. I'll probably be posting more later.

For my first column, since I was tasked with discussing cultural and Chamorro issues, I decided to talk about how the military buildup will and won't affect Chamorro culture. I mentioned a number of ways in which the DEIS admits Chamorro culture and the Chamorro people will be impacted by the military buildup, but also cautioned that this buildup is not like buildups of the past and so there is not easy or automatic equation for calculating cultural damage or loss. If things such as the Chamorro langauge or certain Chamorro cultural practices do decline, it won't be directly because of the buildup, and so we should be careful not to act as if it is someone else's fault, when in truth it is our own. Para i mina'ok i lenguahi-ta, Hita la'mon. Yanggen sigi' mumafnas este i fino'-ta, debi di ta suknen maisa hit, sa' Hita muna'falingu gui'.

Because of the topic, I decided that my column would be best written in Chamorro. It took me a little extra time to write it up, because I ended up having my grandmother go over the column to make sure the Chamorro was okay. I'm pasting it below for those who are interested. Otro fino'-ta, my next piece will be in Chamorro as well. As I just said a sentence or two ago, it takes a little bit longer, but its truly important nowadays, to not just provide tokens to the language, but to actually show that it can be used for something other than Malafunkshun or tourist slogans.


Put Taimanu na Inafekta i Kutturan Chamorro nu i Buildup
by Michael Lujan Bevacqua
Marianas Variety

Meggai na taotao siha guini giya Guahan manchathinasso put i mamaimaila na finatton i militat guini gi tano’-ta. Ochenta mit yan mas na prohemos u fanggaige guini gi 2014 na såkkan. Guaha manma’å’ñao na siempre manmachonnek huyong i Manchamorro para otro lugåt. Gaige gi hinasso-ta na ti åpmam mafñas i raså-ta sa’ parehu hit yan ayu i manmafa’na’ån “endangered species.” Yanggen sigi ha’ mamta’ i otro taotao siha, i Chamorro siempre malingu.

Ta tungo’ ha’ na despues di i manmaloffan na sien años siha, annai manmåtto otro nasion siha ya ma gutbetna hit, ya ma cho’gue i minalagon-ñiha giya Hita, siempre på’go ta fandeskunfiao.

Ta tungo’ ha’ lokkue’ na este siha i para u fanmacho’gue yan para u fanmakåhat siempre inafekta i Chamorro: i tano’ yan i taotao-ta. Lao guaha manera nai siña inafekta i kutturå-ta nu i finatton i militat, guaha manera lokkue’ nai ti debi di ta sukne i militat put i minalingun i kutturå-ta.

Sigun i DEIS, guaha siha manera ni’ siña inafekta i kuttura, put hemplo i sagrådu yan antigo siha na lugåt, taiguihi i Liyang Pågat yan i Sabånan Humuyong Manglo. Siña manmapribi i publiko gi duranten i såkkan, osino patte gi såkkan.

Gi che’cho’ siha yan manmakåhat sagayon siha para i militat, siempre manmadestrosu meggai na lugåt nai siña un sodda’ i trastes i lina’la’ i manmofo’na na taotao-ta yan tinanom yan trongkon håyu siha ni’ gof impottante gi i kutturan Chamorro (put hemplo trongkon ifit yan diferentes na klasin tinanom ni’ sesso manrinikohi ni’ i suruhånu siha para amot). I DEIS lokkue’, ilek-ña na put i maumentan ti Manchamorro siha na taotao, mas tumunok i nina’siñan i Chamorro gi bandan ekonimiha yan pulitikåt. I hiniyong-ña, siempre menos na salåpe mana’guaha para programma siha put i mina’ok i kutturan yan lenguahin Chamorro.

Mas ki este siha, i DEIS, ti ha li’e’ na todu i che’cho’ siha ni’ para u fanmacho’gue, inafketå-ña gi tano’ yan i taotao tano’. Ya ti ha apagåyi i responsibilidåt para i dañu.

Yanggen en hasso na i che’cho’ siha u inafekta i kuttura mas ki este siha i manmasångan, pues cho’gue taiguihi i fino’ Ingles, “connect the dots” ya sångan i hinasso-mu yan na’annok i punto-mu. Guaha siha dipattementon i Gubietnamento taiguihi The Historic Preservation Office yan The Department of Chamorro Affairs ni’ manresponsible ni’ umaligao yan tumungo’ i afekton i che’cho’ siha gi entre i Chamorro siha yan i kutturan-ñiha. Yanggen guaha malago hao na un faisen pat malago hao manrisibi infotmasion, debi di un espiha siha.

Nisissita na umahasso na achokka’ este siha i che’cho’ ha aminåsa hit na siña ha na’dåñu i lina’la’ guini giya Guahan, ti parehu este yan i manmaloffan siha na fina’pos, ko’lo’lo’ña put i kuttura. Ti parehu este na klasin “buildup” yan ayu siha gi duranten i Tiempon Españot gi 1668 pat 1672. Ti parehu lokkue’ yan i finatton i Amerikånu siha gi 1898. Guihi na tiempo siha, manmaafuestsas i Chamorro na u yute’ i lenguåhi yan kutturan-ñiha. Gi på’go na momento, Hita i manmå’gas gi kutturå-ta yan lenguahi-ta. Yanggen i lenguahi-ta sigi ha’ malingu yan i kutturå-ta tit a praktika, ti sina ta sukne i militat. Hita ha’ manggaiisao. Yanggen un gof guaiya i kutturå-mu yan i lenguahi-mu, pues taitai fine’nina i DEIS, yan tuge’ i mas tomtom na hinasso-mu ya fama’comment. Lao mina’dos, cho’gue manu i nina’siñå-mu para un na’siguru na i famagu’on-mu, i nieton-mu yan un mit na henerasion ni’ manmamaila, na siña a fanmausa este na gefpago na lenguahi-ta yan este na taitahgue na kuttura lokkue’.


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