Guåhan Sustainable Culture (GSC) is currently organizing an archival research and oral history project on the Histories of Agriculture and Farming on Guåhan. In order to envision a future of environmental sustainability and food sovereignty on Guam, GSC hopes that a look into history will provide the island with knowledge of sustainable practices lost to time, reconnect people with their ancestors, and, most importantly, encourage profound connections to the land and island. In other words, knowledge of innovation in farming and agriculture on Guåhan requires a revitalization of cultural practices rooted in Guåhan’s culture.
At GSC, we believe that food security and environmental sustainability translate into the well-being of our island community. Since we began in January 2019, GSC has educated over 500 community members and held over 20 workshops and outreach in cultivating self-sustaining food systems through small-scale family farms and gardens as well as community gardens in collaboration with the University of Guam, Guam Economic Development Authority, Guam Women’s Chamber of Commerce, other non-profit organizations, and local businesses.
We acknowledge that a critical examination of island histories is essential to ongoing conversations regarding sustainable futures for island communities and it is a key component of our current food sovereignty and food security projects. This project attempts to highlight significant developments and turning points in Guåhan’s history of farming and agriculture.
In September 2019, we (GSC) received a grant from Humanities Guåhan and the National Endowment for the Humanities for GSC to research and share local knowledge related to the histories of agriculture and farming on Guåhan through archival research, oral histories with various families, community engagement through a community workshop, and a culminating interactive exhibit that will be launched in August 2020 at the Sagan Kotturan Cultural Center in Tumon. We can’t wait to share this information and exhibit with our community and those interested abroad.