The Department of Justice filed a lawsuit against the local government for what they perceive to be an injustice.
“I’m disappointed, but we knew this was probably going to happen based on their letter to us earlier this year. It’s clear that they don’t understand or don’t care about the reason behind the creation of the Chamorro Land Trust’s Commission,” Governor Calvo stated.
During the DOJ’s investigation on the land program, CLTC officials pointed out that Guam’s program is modeled after Hawaii’s homestead program.
“We must allow the native inhabitants of this land the opportunity to build a home and live on their native land – and I have no compunction about fighting this out in court. I’ve spoken to the Attorney General previously and let her know that we need to stand up for the rights of the native people of Guam,” Governor Calvo added.
The native peoples of Hawaii and Alaska, as well as the native Americans have programs that protect their indigenous rights.
“Maybe that’s because they have an actual voting representative in Congress whereas we have not been allowed the right of representation,” Lt. Governor Ray Tenorio stated.
“I love all the people of Guam and I respect indigenous peoples’ rights, to petition our country for justice, and to be imbued with the heritage of land ownership especially in the glaring light of a history where colonial powers for hundreds of years have asserted domain over Guam with little — if any — consent of those governed. In a system of government premised on the principle of hearing all voices, that same system must hear the peoples’ journey and Guam’s role in the legacy of our country. I respect the fight to ensure the voice of our people is heard.”