Sovereignty & Climate Change in Guåhan: Creating Sustainable Futures


Mellon/ACLS Scholars and Society Fellowships


Global and International Studies


Independent Guåhan


Pacific Islands like Guam/Guåhan are enduring unprecedented storms, droughts, coral bleaching, and threats of sea level rise that impact Pacific peoples and cultures. This project is working to help the Guåhan community address the urgent challenges of climate change and democratic governance in relation to the island’s political status. In collaboration with the Guåhan-based community organization Independent Guåhan (IG)—a community group committed to educating the public about the benefits and freedoms of sovereignty for the island—this project focuses on climate, governance, and culture to create sustainable solutions. Working with Independent Guåhan, this project is also expanding political programming, creating educational resources and curriculum about sovereignty and climate change, and publishing an edited volume addressing Indigenous issues and urgent community challenges in the Mariana Islands archipelago brought about by the island’s political status. This project will also establish an IG internship program for students at the University of Guam and doctoral students at the University of California, Irvine who are interested in the public humanities. Overall, it is expanding opportunities for the community to understand the timely and interconnected issues of both climate change and sovereignty and to develop solutions for sustainable futures for the archipelago.