Talking Story: The Militarization of Guåhan and Flows of Information in Chamoru Systems of Knowledge
Day, Sheryl A.
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This dissertation is a local, specific study on the Chamorro language policies of Guam. Scholars have noted since the beginning of the American occupation that the Indigenous Chamorro language of Guam is dying and is in danger of becoming extinct within the next generation. As the hub of American military presence in the Asia Pacific region, the island of Guam is a major site of increasing militarization. This study asked: What does is it mean that the Chamorro language of Guam is dying in the wake of increasing militarization in Guam? The objective of this study was to understand the impact of and response to militarization in Guam on Chamoru Systems of Knowledge through language policies. The threefold purpose of this study to accomplish this was: 1) to examine historical documents and research for evidence of formal and informal information policies implemented by the U.S. military on Indigenous people in Guam to understand how their existing IKS was affected; 2) to examine current formal and informal information policies to understand the existing efforts aimed at reversing the impact of historic policies; and 3) to interview individuals to understand the impact of and response to these policies on access to and flow of cultural information. The overarching question guiding this study was: What is the relationship between militarization in Guam and the flow of information within the Chamoru Indigenous Knowledge System? To address this question, the following research questions were investigated: RQ1: What formal and informal language policies were historically implemented in Guam under colonial rule? a. Who implemented these policies? b. How were these policies enforced? c. What were the intended outcomes of these policies? RQ2: What formal and informal language policies currently exist in Guam? a. Who implemented these policies? b. How were these policies enforced? c. What were the intended outcomes of these policies? RQ3: How has militarization affected these policies in Guam? RQ4: How have these policies affected the flow of information in the Indigenous Knowledge System in Guam? RQ5: How have the Indigenous Chamorro people responded to these policies? This dissertation is a study of language policies as information policies and the myths that shaped the beliefs, attitudes, and practices of the Chamorro people of Guåhan as expressed through stories by the Chamoru Manåmko’, or elders. Inafa’maolek, the concept of Chamorro relationality grounded this study and utilized Talking Story, the Pacific Islander method of communicating and sharing information, for data gathering.
- Information science