Lapas attēli
PDF
ePub

one system; that being the College of Micronesia. This system was governed by a board of regents through a treaty among the nations of the Republic of Palau, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Federated States of Micronesia. In 1993, each of the three colleges of the COM system became autonomous institutions under separate governing boards in all areas except those related to administration of the land grant programs.

Because COM was designated by U.S. Congress in section 506(a) of the Education Amendments of 1972, as the land grant institution for the trust territory of the Pacific islands, a Congressional amendment is now required to allow each of the Micronesian colleges to administer the land grant programs. This legislative action would, in effect, eliminate one of the last vestiges of the trust territory administration.

Efforts have been undertaken since 1993, for each of the colleges in the COM system to be designated land grant colleges. The COM Board of Regents is fully supportive of these efforts.

We are grateful for the support of Senators Murkowski and Akaka, and the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources for the inclusion of section 3, territorial land grant colleges, in S. 210.

The colleges were supportive of the measure in its original form. However, there is a provision in the final form that is of great concern to us. Section 3(c) of S. 210 stipulates that the current level of funding would remain the same and be divided among the three colleges. This provision would put each of our three colleges at a clear disadvantage compared to similar-sized land grant colleges in the region—such as Northern Marianas College and American Samoa Community College as it would require the Micronesian colleges to provide full land grant services and programs with only one-third of the funding.

Each of the Micronesian colleges aspires to assume responsibility for all extension and research functions in the areas of agriculture, and mariculture for their respective governments. Full implementation of the land grant programs would build the capacity of each of the colleges to provide these services and thus contribute substantially to each nation's efforts to build the human resource capacity in support of the economic development efforts that the Compacts of Free Association aspire to.

Section 3 of S. 210, would severely limit the capability of our colleges to deliver land grant programs and services. We the presidents of the three Micronesian colleges hereby solicit your favorable consideration to amending S. 210 through the deletion of section 3(c). If such amendment is not deemed possible at this time, then we respectively request that section 3 be deleted from S. 210 in its entirety.

Mr. Chairman, once again we thank you and the committee members for taking time to consider our concerns. We sincerely appreciate the support that the U.S. Congress has provided our colleges over the years and we pledge to continue to implement programs supported by Congress with integrity and excellence.

Thank you very much.

[The prepared statement of Ms. Moses may be found at end of hearing.)

Mr. UNDERWOOD. Thank you very much, President Moses.
Former Senator Hope Cristobal?
STATEMENT OF HOPE A. CRISTOBAL, ORGANIZATION OF

PEOPLE FOR INDIGENOUS RIGHTS Ms. CRISTOBAL. (speaking in Chamorro] "Suzumaci. Buenas dias,” Mr. Chairman, Congressman Robert Underwood, and members of the House Resources Committee.

[Speaking in Chamorro] "Guahosi a" Hope Critobal. I am the official representative of the Organization of People for Indigenous Rights. Mr. Chairman, I was here in 1985, some years ago with then Governor Radallio, on a similar hearing. And, I am here today, again, representing the Organization of People for Indigenous Rights with a statement on title I, section 102.

One of the primary purposes of the Organization is to protect and to promote the Chamorro people's inherent right of self-determination. We firmly believe that only the Chamorro people in Guam have the right to alter Guam's status from a non-self-governing territory, to one consider to be having a full measure of selfgovernment. We recognize that a part of the discussion of H.R. 100 is a discussion about the right of a people to maximize their existence in their homeland. It's about the right of a people to determine their political destiny as a people, and it is about a rightour right-of self respect and dignity, as a people. And that people, Mr. Chairman, is the native people of Guam—the Chamorro people.

In our efforts—in our organization's effort-to ensure the recognition of our people's inherent and inalienable right, we participated in the commission on self determination meetings, and we are heartened by the inclusion of title I, section 102 in the act. And, we support, in principle, this provision of the act. It recognizes as a cardinal principle of self determination, that in the case of Guam, the pursuit of an ultimate political status is legitimately, morally, and legally, the sole quest of the Chamorro people. We do not, however, recognize H.R. 100 as a self determination or a decolonizing document. We consider it an interim Federal territorial relations document.

For over 100 years now, Mr. Chairman, our people have been frustrated, awaiting the political status process that would restore our dignity as a people to be self governing, and to exercise our right of self determination.

Our Chamorro people are frustrated because we live the negative effects of the unilateral immigration policies of the United States on our small Pacific island. This, and all these, effectively diminishes our social, economic, and political development.

We request that a timetable be set in H.R. 100 for the exercise of Chamorro self determination to coincide with the intent of the local public law 23-147, and act to create the Commission on Decolonization for the implementation and the exercise of Chamorro self determination. Aside from this, our Organization fully supports all other Chamorro rights provisions in title I, as well as section 701, Guam Immigration Authority under title VII.

Next year marks 100 years of colonialism under the flag of the United States. The U.S. Congress in accepting its role in a

decolonization process for the Chamorro people, must take seriously our people's quest to be fully self governing and to determine the ultimate political destiny of our homeland. It has a responsibility to assist the Chamorro people and must not continue to allow the courts to determine the kind of relationship that our people will have with the United States. Our people deserve more than just a mild sway of justice, Mr. Chairman.

We await the serious and open discussions and the decision by Congress of H.R. 100, but we must make it emphatically clear that as you look at title I section 102, that it is in keeping with the provisions of the United Nations charter article 73 that political status chains be specifically related to the people who are a historically and a non-self governing people. This cannot be interpreted in any reasonable fashion as meaning any other people than the Chamorros. It is time that the United States live up to the provision. The Chamorro people's inherent right of self determinationIt's time the United States live up to its responsibilities by recognizing legally, in a accordance with its own constitutional provisions, the Chamorran people's inherent right of self determination, and we ask that Congress approve title I section 102 as it stands.

Mr. Chairman, we believe that the essential meaning of the United States Constitution is to promote and protect and defend the dignity and the integrity of people.

There is a saying in Chamorro, Mr. Chairman, (speaking in Chamorro] "I taotao ni'ha sedi na uma gacha', ha miresi na uma gacha'ya uma figes.” Mr. Chairman, our people have been a strong and a spiritual people. We derive our spirit on Chamorro from God, our families, and the sustenance of our homeland. We will fight that our pride, our self respect, our dignity, will not be sacrificed with the removal of the Chamorro rights provisions in H.R. 100, lest we be crushed. Our people deserve nothing less. Long live the Chamorro people. (speaking in Chamorro] “Biba Chamoru.

"Si Yu'os ma'ase," Mr. Chairman. [The prepared statement of Ms. Cristobal may be found at end of hearing.

Mr. PETERSON. (presiding] I'd like to thank the lady.
The next witness we will call will be Chris Howard.

STATEMENT OF CHRIS PEREZ HOWARD, CHAIRMAN,
ORGANIZATION OF PEOPLE FOR INDIGENOUS RIGHTS
Mr. HOWARD. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

I am Chris Perez Howard, chairman of the Organization of People for Indigenous Rights. I sincerely thank you on behalf of our organization for the opportunity to present testimony on H.R. 100, a bill to establish the Commonwealth of Guam.

Before I begin, I would like to state for the record, that our organization is not here in support of the Commonwealth Act. We are here to support the rights and concerns of the indigenous people of Guam—the Chamorro people.

Mr. Chairman, the Chamorro people's relationship with the U.S. Congress goes back to the year 1898, when Spain ceded Guam to the United States and gave Congress the right to determine the civil rights and political status of the native inhabitants. Since then, Congress has held this right to make these decisions.

Mr. Chairman, we believe that this hearing is based upon the relationship that the U.S. Congress has had with the Chamorro people since 1898. Although they have, in various documents, been referred to by names such as native inhabitants, people of Guam, Chamorros, Guamanians, inhabitants of Guam, and nationals of the United States, they are the people whom you promised the right to self determination. They are the people for whom you wrote the Organic Act for Guam. And, they are the people whom you should be addressing.

From the beginning, OPIR has not supported the draft Commonwealth Act. We do not support it because commonwealth is not a status determined by the Chamorro people, nor is the draft act written and adopted by them. It is a U.S. citizen document. It infringes on the rights of the Chamorro people, especially in regards to others determining their inherent sovereignty.

In the past, however, OPIR has supported the provisions concerning Chamorro right to self determination and Guam's control of immigration. Now, we think it may be pointless to even discuss these issues in the Commonwealth Act before Congress. We feel this way because immigration controlled by Guam has been blasted in the media and in reports by U.S. Government agencies, and the frontal assault and behind-the-back attempts by the United States to deny the Chamorro people the right to self determination in the United Nations.

For your information, attached is a transcript of the U.S. statement before the U.S. Special Political and Decolonization Committee a few weeks ago. As an example of this kind of information given as factual by the United States, is this declaration: "The United States is a Nation in which all persons are provided equal treatment under the law.” This statement, Mr. Chairman, is a blatant attempt to influence the U.N. committee at the expense of the Chamorro people. Mr. Chairman, as you are well aware, we do not vote for the President of the United States. Not all of the U.S. Constitution applies to us. And we do not have a voting Member in Congress. Something smells at the United Nations and reflects badly on the moral character of America. With that U.S. statement at the United Nations, how can we now expect Congress to do what is right?

In closing, aside from the reason our organization gave for opposing the draft Commonwealth Act, we consider the status of commonwealth as another colonial status. If Congress truly wants to solve the political status problems of its territories, it should embrace decolonization and not just a political status change.

Thank you. (speaking in Chamorro] “Si yu'os ma'ase,” Mr. Chair

man.

[The prepared statement of Mr. Howard may be found at end of hearing.)

Mr. PETERSON. I'd like to thank the gentleman.

And next, we'll call upon the Most Reverend Anthony S. Apuron, Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Agana.

STATEMENT OF ANTHONY S. APURON, ARCHBISHOP,

ARCHDIOCESE OF AGANA Rev. APURON. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman, and members of this committee.

I'm deeply honored by your gracious invitation to appear before this committee of the U.S. House of Representatives today. It is a rare privilege, indeed. I come as a spiritual leader of Guam to bear witness to the voices in the hearts of the Chamorro people crying out for justice and a resolution of our quest for political determination.

You, as a body, have the ultimate power and authority in the Nation to bring about the justice we seek. I urge you to act with a moral conscience. We the people of Guam deserve nothing less. As loyal and patriotic American citizens, we seek the American promise of justice for all.

We as a people have been blessed with many benefits stemming fro our intimate relationship with the United States. In 1898, we have progressed tremendously-or since 1898, we have progressed tremendously. We were freed from an occupying force during World War II. In the subsequent decades, our quality of life as an island community has substantially improved.

Concomitant with these benefits we have more than adequately contributed our share to the greatness of this Nation. Our people have always come forward fearlessly and generously, even shedding their very blood with great sacrifices to the family, in demonstrating their loyalty and patriotism in military service. Our sons and daughters have been among those who fought for World War II, the Korean war, the Vietnam war, and desert storm—all conflicts not of our own choosing. In the quest for National security and world peace, our resources, especially our most precious and limited land and water resources, were exploited and continue to be deemed vital to American presence in the Pacific theater.

We have willingly paid the price exacted by the American promise of freedom and justice for its citizens. What we ask now, Mr. Chairman, is that for that promise to be delivered in its entirety and in all its glory, namely the granting of Guam's Commonwealth Act.

The Chamorro people of Guam have given 100 percent to this Nation. The lives lost in the various conflicts for peace are testimony enough to this fact. As we move toward the next millennium, I want to emphasize the unique opportunity this august body faces, and the power it ultimately holds, to redress the grievances and injustices we have suffered and continue to suffer as a colonized peoplean unincorporated jurisdiction, and an insular possession, or whatever the status of Guam may be called-all terms unacceptable, incongruit, and unconscionable with great promise of freedom, liberty, and justice for all which this great Nation, since its founding, has echoed and re-echoed throughout the world.

As this country has challenged other nations to uphold democratic principles on moral and human rights grounds, so we as a Chamorro people appeal to those very principles on moral and human rights grounds.

In sacred scripture the hypocrite was condemned by Jesus for professing one set of beliefs and acting otherwise. Could it not be

« iepriekšējāTurpināt »