Print version of this study guide or all six.

6 of 6 Study guides for individuals and/or small groups


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


High School, 9-12


Time required

Research/inquiry 20 – 40 minutes

Reflection 60 – 120 minutes

Materials required

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


Research and Reflect on Guam’s Quest for Self-Determination.

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.

CHamoru Efforts

CHamorus have fought numerous battles over many decades toward the attainment of self-government and citizenship with significant success. Yet ongoing debates in the 21st century over whether Guam truly is self-governing and its people equal citizens suggest that the drive for self-government and full US citizenship has not come to an end. The petitions of the early 20th century, with their rhetoric of loyalty to the United States and their call for political rights, would find parallels in the activism and struggle for self-determination and decolonization from the federal government prominent at the end of the century and that continues today.

I. Documentary

Independent or group viewing of Lazaro Quinata’s Guam’s Quest for Self-determination (run time: 8:00 minutes) and the Cabazon Band Of Mission Indians’ Let Freedom Ring: The Chamorro Search for Sovereignty (8 clips of varying lengths).

II. Entries

Read aloud designated entries on

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 are the issues behind the intense desire for self-determination by the people of Guam?
  • What are your thoughts about the actions taken to achieve self-determination in the past?
  • Have they inspired you or opened your eyes about these issues?
  • Do you hope to see people keep fighting for self-determination for the CHamoru people? Why or why not?

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