3 of 6 Study guides for individuals and/or small groups
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Research and Reflect on Guam’s Quest for Self-Determination


Political Science, Civics, Government, World History, Guam History, CHamoru Studies


High School, College


Research/Inquiry 20 – 40 Minutes

Reflection 60 – 120 Minutes

Materials Required

Access to Guampedia.com and a computer

Note: Reflection papers  can be emailed to instructor to remain paperless

Inquiry Statement

The United States began its colonial administration of Guam in 1898. Today, more than 120 years later, Guam remains a colony of the US as an unincorporated territory. Because of this colonial status, the island and its people lack full self-government and guaranteed civil rights afforded to other US citizens.

Organic Act of Guam (1950)

The passage of the Organic Act of Guam created a civil, or non-military, government for the island, thus ending the Naval and Post War Eras. With the establishment of a civilian government and congressional US citizenship for the people of Guam through the Organic Act, the President of the United States selected the individuals, usually along party lines, who would serve as the territorial governor.

I. Documentary

Independent or group viewing of Lazaro Quinata’s documentary on Guam’s Quest for Self-determination on guampedia.com (run time: 8:00 minutes)

II. Entries

Read aloud designated entries on guampedia.com

III. Reflection Questions

Students assigned to write a 2-3 page paper based on the reflection questions posed. Encourage students to think critically, to hasso, and use their imaginations and  share their voices. Questions can be specific to the particular exercise or general to the project.

Suggested reflection

  • What did the Organic Act do for the people of Guam?
  • Discuss the positive and negatives effects of the Organic Act for the CHamoru people.

Guampedia study guides in this series

  1. Early Civil Rights and Non-US Citizenship (1898-1944)
  2. Post War Reconstruction and Guam Congress Walkout
  3. Organic Act of Guam (1950)
  4. Guamanian Era (1960s – 1970s)
  5. Contemporary Era (1980s – Present)
  6. CHamoru Efforts