Guam Cultural Repository breaks ground at UOG
On Dec. 9, 2020, the Office of the Governor, in coordination with the University of Guam, the UOG Micronesia Area Research Center, the Department of CHamoru Affairs, the Guam Museum, the Guam State Historic Preservation Office, and the Community Defense Liaison Office (formerly the Guam Buildup Office) broke ground on the Guam Cultural Repository, a collaboration between the Office of Economic Adjustment of the U.S. Department of Defense and the government of Guam that will be hosted and operated by the University of Guam.
The repository will serve as a valuable adjunct to the new Guam cultural museum by providing adequate space to curate extensive Guam cultural collections. Construction on the repository is expected to be complete by Spring 2022.
New capacity for archaeological work
UOG President Thomas W. Krise spoke about the possibilities that the center will create in regard to analysis and research of archaeological work on the island.
“This is the beginning of the development of capacity in Guam and all of Micronesia for this kind of work,” he said. “I think it’s very exciting we’re moving in this direction.”
He added that the university manages $23 million per year in federal research grant funding, and the Guam Cultural Repository will further facilitate the impact the UOG research community is making, particularly through the Micronesian Area Research Center.
Build for the future while preserving the past
Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero and Lt. Gov. Josh Tenorio spoke at the groundbreaking ceremony on the cultural, environmental, and economic importance of center.
“The relocation has raised numerous concerns, such as the impact it will have on our environment, our economy, and, especially, our culture. We have a duty to build our future while respecting our culture and preserving the past,” the governor said. “With this facility, it is my hope that more of our people will enter the fields of archaeology and museum curation to help us to understand the lives of our ancestors and the lessons they have passed down to us.”
Tenorio added, “For too long, our history was tucked away in boxes because we did not have the proper facility to house them. As CHamorus, we have always prided ourselves with being in touch with our culture and our ancestors, yet the tangible connections we have with our past remained hidden, some in archaeological firms, government of Guam offices, or in military facilities. Our administration is committed to working with UOG, DCA, and the Historic Preservation Office to ensure our most sacred artifacts are treated with dignity and respect while allowing our people the opportunity to learn about our history.”
A successful collaboration
Rear Adm. John Menoni, commander of Joint Region Marianas, said the endeavor is a successful collaboration between Department of Defense and the government of Guam.
“This facility will serve as a key resource for ongoing research, education, and interpretive activities by and for the people of Guam and will also enhance outreach and tourism activities as visitors to our island come to know and appreciate the history of the CHamoru people in Guam and throughout the region,” he said.
The facility is funded by a $12 million grant provided through the Office of Economic Adjustment.
For more information on the project, contact Community Defense Liaison Office Executive Director Vera Topasna at firstname.lastname@example.org.