Study reveals CHamorus connected to culture but feel like second-class citizens
The community report is in for the 2021 Guåhan Survey.
About 1,103 people submitted their thoughts, and opinions in the multiple-choice, and short answer questions in the month-long 2021 Guåhan Survey. It was conducted from July 16, 2021, to August 15, 2021. Participants of the survey met the three basic criteria: identify as CHamoru, or other related terms, are age 18 or above, and are full-time island residents.
The study is interested in understanding CHamoru identity and community concerns and is not of representation of the CHamoru community of Guåhan.
The community report reveals in the survey four main points that CHamoru’s feel their connection to culture, history, and language is vibrant and thriving.
Almost four in five participants have spent time trying to find out more about CHamoru history, traditions, and culture; and half of the respondents are active in CHamoru organizations, social events, or cultural activities.
It also shows that participants feel pride and belonging in being CHamoru. Nine in 10 respondents feel good about their CHamoru identity, and 85 percent of respondents feel a sense of belonging to the CHamoru community.
Furthermore, CHamorus feel like they are second-class citizens in the U.S. Almost three-quarters of respondents consider Guam to be occupied by the U.S., and three-quarters of respondents feel like they do NOT have the same rights as U.S. citizens who are residents of one of the 50 states.
And finally, participants expressed that Guam’s relationship with the U.S. military should change in some way. Two-thirds of respondents do not support the construction of the U.S. military firing range above Litekyan, and nearly two-thirds of respondents support the U.S. military paying rent to Guam to lease the land for military bases.
Additionally, CHamorus in the south; our manåmko’ ages 65+; transgender, nonbinary and genderqueer CHamorus; and working-class CHamorus with a high school diploma or less, the survey indicated that CHamoru populations are underrepresented.
2021 Guåhan Survey Co-Principal Investigator Dr. Ngoc Phan shared that a 2022 Guåhan research project may or may not happen.
"So before we say when is the next one when we would promise that we would do as much as we could with what we were given– the gift of this knowledge," he said.
The study was funded by the MIT Center for International Studies and MIT Priscilla King Gray Public Service Center. The full report can be viewed and downloaded online at www.guamstudy.org/results.
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