Showing posts from September, 2016

Inadaggao Lengguahen Chamorro

Six years ago under the guidance of Peter Onedera, the Chamorro language program at UOG held a Chamorro Language Forum, in which senatorial and gubernatorial candidates were asked questions in Chamorro about pertinent island issues. It was on one hand a great success. Students asked hundreds of questions to the candidates in the Chamorro language. But on the other hand, the format of the forum made it so that candidates didn't have to speak in Chamorro, they could just respond in English. I assisted Peter Onedera with these forums both as a student and a professor at UOG, and so I found it on the one hand inspiring to see a place where the Chamorro language was the focus for political discourse. But it was also so depressing to see so many leaders and would-be leaders not even trying to speak Chamorro, even though they were given the questions ahead of time and could have prepared answers.

Fast forward six years and through my Chamoru Culture class at UOG, we have decided to brin…

Mapuno' si Lumuba

Throughout my interviews that I conducted for my graduate school research, when the issue of decolonization would emerge in the discussion, regardless of the demographic intersections of the interview subject, regardless of their life experiences or their level of education, all of them would find some way of saying that on the topic of political status change, mungga ma'åkka' i kannai ni' muna'boboka hao, don't bite the hand that feeds you. This narrative, while understandable for an island stuck in what I refer to as the decolonial deadlock, it was frustrating for someone who was seeking to study decolonization and convince other Chamorros of the need for it. Eventually, at some point amidst the interview conducting, the critical theory reading and the online ranting, I ended up watching the 200 movie Lumumba directed by Raoul Peck. It tells the story of the final months of Patrice Lumumba, an inspirational figure in African and global decolonization, who was th…

By Benen

Esta hu sangani hamyo na gof ya-hu i bidada-na si Steven Benen. Kada diha ha na'huhuyong meggai na tinige' put hafa masusesedi gi botasion Amerikånu para presidente. Fihu gof tinanane' yu' guini giya Guahan, ya mappot para bei taitai todu ya tattiyi todu gi sanlagu. Lao sesso inayuda yu' as Steve Bene. Estague noskuantos na tinige'-na ginen pa'go ha' na diha.


Team Trump Wants Credit for all the wrong reasons
by Steve Benen

During this week’s presidential debate, when the discussion turned to race relations, Donald Trump explained that he opened a golf resort in Palm Beach that doesn’t discriminate against racial or religious minorities. “I have been given great credit for what I did,” the Republican boasted, adding, “I’m very, very proud of it…. That is the true way I feel.”

It was a reminder of one of Trump’s worst habits: he wants credit for doing the things he’s supposed to do anyway. In July, for example,…

Setbisio Para i Publiko #33: The Question of Guam (2010)

The United Nations is a strange beast in Guam in turns of its place in the movement for decolonization. Prior to the failure of Commonwealth in 1997, the UN was always a quiet force in the background, but held little authority or played a very minor role in the consistency of arguments or political positions. Even when Chamorro activists were successful in getting people on Guam to recognize the Chamorro people as being indigenous, even though activists were successful in defeating a Constitutional movement on Guam, which would have trapped the island within an American framework, and both of these things rely heavily on discourses which find great potency in the UN and its history, they were not strongly international movements. The UN itself, although still a quiet presence on Guam, is still interpreted in a very American framework, and so regardless of how Guam's relationship to the UN is fundamentally different (it is a non-self-governing territory), people here tend to see i…

Target Shaped Island of Guam

The Independence for Guahan Task Force held their second monthly general meeting last week and it was a significant success, with 70 members of the community coming to listen to educational presentations and provide feedback. Here are some media reports on the meeting, both before and after. As you'll read below the educational portion of the evening focused first on security threats to Guam due to it being a strategically important unincorporated territory of the United States. Second, it contained a presentation on Singapore, the first model of an independent nation that Guam can look to in terms of inspiration as it pursues independence itself. Each monthly meeting will feature a new independent nation to analyze and compare.

Does the US military turn Guam into a regional target?
By Timothy Mchenry
Pacific News Center
September 20, 2016

The topic was chosen after audience members at the first general assembly continually asked about how Guam should …

Banning English to Preserve Culture

Todu i Chamorro siha ni' mañathinanasso put i kotturå-ta yan i minalingu i lenguahi-ta, debi di u ma tatai este. Anggen ta cho'gue mas kinu manggongongong siña ta na'lå'la' mo'na i lenguahi-ta. Atan este na familia. Manu na gaige i Chamorro siha ni' siña tumattiyi este na hemplo?


Indigenous family bans English to preserve culture
by Lynn Desjardins
Radio Canada International
September 5, 2016

Like many parents, Nancy Mike and Andrew Morrison have to work hard if they want to preserve their aboriginal language. Because so much English is spoken in Iqaluit in the northern territory of Nunavut, they have decided to ban English at home and oblige their two daughters to speak their native language of Inuktitut, reports CBC.

“Language is not just language; it’s the way you transmit culture,” said Mike to CBC reporter Sima Sahar Zerehi. Mike said she wanted to be certain the girls were able to speak to her unilingual…

Democracy Now! and the North Dakota Pipeline

Democracy Now! is doing some great coverage of the protests over the North Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota. Here are some interviews and a column from Amy Goodman after a warrant was put out for her arrest in response to her coverage. If you are able, please consider donating in order to support their continuing efforts.


Native American Activist Winona LaDuke at Standing Rock: It's Time to Move On from Fossil Fuels
September 12, 2016
Democracy Now!

While Democracy Now! was covering the Standing Rock standoff earlier this month, we spoke to Winona LaDuke, longtime Native American activist and executive director of the group Honor the Earth. She lives and works on the White Earth Reservation in northern Minnesota. She spent years successfully fighting the Sandpiper pipeline, a pipeline similar to Dakota Access. We met her right outside the Red Warrior Camp, where she has set up her tipi. Red Warrior is one of the encampments where thousands of Nati…