Guam – Members of I Nacion Chamoru or the Chamorro Nation posted signs at the legislature urging lawmakers to place the indigenous fishing bill 190 on the session floor.
Bill 190 would add to a current public law 29-172 which allows for indigenous fishing practices. The current law created a fishing council that was to determine what fishing practices would be allowed and where they would be allowed. There was confusion over who was to sit on this council so bill 190 seeks to clarify the makeup of the fishing council. However, Chamoru nation Magahaga Ofing Jackson says the bill has been in limbo. “I don’t know what’s going on it’s been 18 months since we’ve been pushing this and we’ve got about 2,415 people who signed this petition for the legislature to put this on the floor to be heard and to be voted but nothing and now it’s being denied again,” said Jackson.
The indigenous rights activist says they were told by senators that the bill was deemed unconstitutional and inorganic by the A.G.’s office. The Chamorro Nation says the A.G.’s office does not have the right to determine this as unconstitutionality can only be determined by the courts.