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The ancient Chamorro people arrived in the Mariana Archipelago thousands of years ago and lived on this beautiful chain of islands called the Gåni Islands. For thousands of years, the Chamorro language was alive and healthy as the people before us transmitted knowledge of the land through the spoken language. Language and culture was inhaled and exhaled through the sights and sounds of daily experiences within the Mariana Archipelago. Our language DNA of communication appropriated to our native people is the Chamorro language and it has not changed.

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Generations lived and died while the language and culture carried with it the history, knowledge, and experiences of intertwined lives of island peoples. Knowledge of the environment and its secrets were deeply entrenched within the native peoples’ lives.

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In order for our language to survive in the Gåni Islands (Mariana Islands), we as Chamorro people must take ownership in tangible and intangible ways. There are many layers within our society; environment and communities that need to come together in intentional unity in order for the Chamorro language to breathe life and to have spaces within the Mariana Islands. We may have our differences; however, we need to be of one mind when it comes to awakening and breathing life back into the Chamorro language.

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How can the native Chamorro language prosper? It is likened to an infant who is when well nurtured in body, soul, and spirit grows to be a well rounded adult who is alive and prosperous. For the Chamorro language to prosper and be well nurtured and sustainable, we have to be intentional in restoring our self-identity as peoples of this land given to us by our Creator. We have to be committed not only in words, but in action for restoring our spoken Chamorro language. Our language and culture are deeply rooted to this land that we walk on; where thousands of years before us, our ancestors walked on, and their bones and stories are buried throughout this indigenous spaces called the Gåni Islands, but the one thing that is passed on rooted at the heart and breathe of every indigenous person is language. Breathe of language is life, without it the language continuity stops.

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It is quite amazing that our language is still alive, but at the same token is sleeping in us. It is time to wake it up. So how can we bring it back to a prosperous space?

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We first must have intentionality of purpose. In being purposeful, we have to own it ourselves and we have to ask for help from each other and help each other get to that 138 ! ・ 2nd Marianas History Conference 2013

Profile for Guampedia

MHC2: Art, Culture and Science  

MHC2: Art, Culture and Science  

Profile for guampedia

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