Respect the Chamoru People Rally April 7

Respect the Chamoru People Rally April 7

by Amber Benavente-Sanchez
Respect the Chamoru People

For Immediate Release, March 29, 2017 — A series of disrespectful acts against the Chamoru people seemed to eclipse what is normally one of the most festive times of the year — Mes Chamoru, a month dedicated to celebrating the Chamoru culture.

Almost daily this month, Guam’s news outlets have reported on military and other encroachment into sacred lands and natural habitats from northern to southern Guam; a court decision against the Chamoru right to self-determination; and Federal threats to the Chamoru Land Trust. For many Chamorus, these actions have sparked the need to remind the community that Guam is i Tano’ i Man Chamoru, the homeland of the Chamoru people.

The language, culture and heritage of the Native people of Guam and the Marianas are what make our archipelago unique in the world.  There is no other place on earth for Chamorus to call their homeland. Above all, the Chamoru people, like all indigenous people, deserve to be treated with dignity and respect, especially in their native land.

A grassroots collective has come together to organize the Respect the Chamorro People Rally on April 7 from 4 – 6 p.m. at the Adelup lawn.  Adelup was the site of a series of demonstrations and the famous Nasion  Chamoru campout that pushed the Government of Guam to implement the Chamoru Land Trust in 1995.

The rally will be a safe and welcoming space for all members of our community, Chamoru and others alike, to come together in solidarity to protect and defend the native and human rights of the Chamoru people and their place in the world. The rally will feature speakers and live performances, including poetry, music and traditional chants.

Every school day on Guam, tens of thousands of our children recite the Inifresi, a promise for those who call Guam home, to protect and defend the six things that make life possible and beautiful, drawn from Chamoru heritage, culture and history: i hinengge, i kottura, i lenguåhi, i aire, i hanom yan i tano’ Chamoru.

Join us on April 7 in celebration of this promise and of the Native people of Guam who have inherited it.


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