Summit on Decolonization and Native Self-Determination – April 2007

Summit on Decolonization and Native Self-Determination – April 2007

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March 12, 2007

FAMOKSAIYAN: “Our Time to Paddle Forward”
Summit on Decolonization and Native Self-Determination
April 20-22, 2007 in Berkeley and Oakland, California.

On 14 and 15 April 2006 more than 100 Chamorro scholars, activists, and community leaders gathered at the Sons and Daughters of Guam Club in San Diego to share their work and research, and to participate in discussions relating to the future of their people and native homelands. The name of this gathering was Famoksaiyan: Decolonizing Chamorro Histories, Identities and Futures. This initial meeting of native leaders inspired such a great deal of research questions and possibilities that concrete action plans were soon implemented on an international forum.

Over the past year we have held regional meetings in Berkeley, Long Beach, Oakland and Guam and helped plan a number of historic events. In October of 2006, several members of Famoksaiyan organized a trip to New York City to testify before the United Nations Committee on Decolonization, about the question of Guam’s continuing colonial status. During that same month a representative of Famoksaiyan presented at the National Pacific American Leadership Institute before a delegation of three hundred distinguished leaders and professionals in Hawai’i.

In November 2007 a town hall forum and report on the United Nation’s trip called “Remembering Our Roots: Decolonization in Guahan” was held in Berkeley, and was attended by Berkeley students and bay area residents interested in learning more about Chamorros and their struggles. In January of this year, Famoksaiyan participated in and helped coordinate the forum “Decolonizing Our Lives: A Progress Report on the Status of Human Rights on Guam” which brought more than 250 community members together at the University of Guam, to learn what different organizations are doing to facilitate Guam’s political and cultural decolonization.

The Future:
As part of Famoksaiyan’s continuing commitment to building progressive networks within the Chamorro community and among Pacific Islander, Native American, Puerto Rican and Chicano organizations throughout the world, with the shared goals of decolonization and self determination, we are pleased to announce:

Summit on Decolonization and Native Self-Determination
April 20 -22, 2007 in Berkeley and Oakland, California.

This year we are interested in strengthening existing networks, building new ones, and more importantly, giving those interested the skills to promote the work of decolonization and cultural and historical revitalization in their politics, their creative work and everyday interactions. We are pleased to announce that this year’s conference will include: Chicanos, Pacific Islanders, Puerto Ricans, Native Americans and others interested in improving the opportunities and life conditions of indigenous peoples throughout the world. The conference is open to the public, and there is no fee to attend.

We therefore invite individuals or organizations to submit proposals for workshops, presentations or working groups related, but not limited to the following suggested formats:

1). A workshop designed to teach important skills: creative writing, how to talk to your family about decolonization, web development or graphic design, Chamorro language, etc.
2). An informational session designed to teach attendees or enhance their understanding about historical or contemporary issues such as: Guam history, the military build up in Guam, the state of Guam’s environment, US/Guam territorial relations, etc.
3). A working group which will strategize or develop plans and goals around a particular topic or issue such as: sustainable economics, how to reform media, how to revitalize Chamorro language, coalition building with other Pacific Islander groups, etc.
4). Updates on ongoing artistic or community projects such as films, research studies, events, grants, etc.

Your submission should include a proposal (no more than one page), describing the nature of the working group or panel presentation that you intend to organize, along with your contact information (mailing address, telephone and email). Please list which topic most appropriately describes your presentation:

1) Decolonization 2) Self Determination 3) Education 4) Research 5) Healthcare 6) Public Policy 7) Law 8) Employment 9) Community Activism 10) Stewardship/Leadership 11) Cultural Preservation 12) Language

The deadline for submissions is April 1, 2007. Proposals will be accepted after this date, only if space is available. Please email your submissions and any questions to Miget (Michael) Lujan Bevacqua at or to Migetu (Michael) Tuncap

Si Yu’us Ma’ase. Biba i mannatibu! Biba Chamoru! Na’la’l’a mo’ña i taotao Marianas!

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