Governor signs order creating Guam Indigenous Heritage Alliance

Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero signs the executive order creating GIHA. (PNC photo)

The Governor’s Office has launched a new alliance — a collective made up of government agencies with a common goal.

At a press conference Friday morning, Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero announced the creation of the Guam Indigenous Heritage Alliance, or GIHA, which was firmed up with the signing of an executive order.

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The governor says GIHA will serve as a vehicle for cohesive, coordinated, and cross-department movement and strategic planning toward CHamoru self-determination, decolonization, and cultural sovereignty.

“There are many many organizations that are in effect right now… all addressing our CHamoru heritage and language, art, and history, culture and protection of our lands and so forth. I think this movement right now is very crucial to creating one voice, one theme in moving forward with our Taotao Tano’,” Leon Guerrero said.

With the Governor during the news conference were the representatives of indigenous organizations, the Department of CHamoru Affairs, the Commission on the CHamoru Language, and the Teaching of the History and Culture of the Indigenous People of Guam, the Commission on Decolonization, Guam Museum, and Parks and Recreation.

While each agency has its specific mandate to fulfill, the governor says they all have a common purpose and GIHA helps them coordinate and achieve these goals.

“Through GIHA, we will create a dedicated platform so they can work together and shape policy on issues that affect their shared interest and missions,” Leon Guerrero said.

GIHA will be under the supervision of the Office of the Governor.