top of page
  • Pacific Island Times Staff

Proposed Guam law to regulate history of western contact

Many indigenous people in places that became colonized, have complained that their history has been misrepresented by their colonizers, who wrote down accounts that are the basis for conventional history.

Guam is one such place and--according to conventional history--it's been 500 years since the Spanish explorer Magellan and his expedition which was in the process of circumnavigating the world, stopped by the island. Has the story of this "first encounter" with the west ever been told from the viewpoint of the indigenous people? Is this even possible?

According to Guam Sen. Kelly Marsh-Taitano, her Bill No. 59-35 (COR) will establish, "a provisional commission to ensure that CHamoru perspectives are given a respectful place in the recognition of the 500th year since the first circumnavigation of the earth and that Guam be given a special place in research, discussions, and related events."

In her press release, Sen. Marsh-Taitano said, “I am honored to have been asked to introduce this significant legislation on behalf of I Kumisión [i Fino’ CHamoru yan i Fina’nå’guen i Historia yan i Lina’la’ i Taotao Tåno’ (Commission on CHamoru Language and the Teaching of the History and Culture of the Indigenous People of Guam).]

This bill will allow the people of Guam, who have been overlooked, unheard, poorly understood, and under examined throughout history, to have their story surrounding the historic encounter heard and shared with the rest of the world.”

The senator has oversight of the commission's activities.

Gé’helo’ (Kumisión Chairperson) Hope Alvarez Cristobal said, “It’s imperative that the people of Guam have official representation during this international recognition. Guam was an important stopping point for this global encounter in the 16th century and continues to be so today in the 21st century.”

bottom of page