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  • Skokomish Tribe:Bear Witness Testimony—Waking My Indigenous Heart
  • Tanya Chargualaf Taimanglo (bio)

My name is Tanya Kang Chargualaf Taimanglo. Although I hail from Marysville, Washington, I am originally from Guam. I am from Ordot, my childhood village. I am from Mangilao, my adulthood village. I am fully invested in being a genuine ally to the Tulalip Tribes, the indigenous peoples of my adopted hometown in the Pacific Northwest. I feel tendons of similarity from how our youth treat their elders to fishing in the same ocean thousands of miles apart. Your food, from the earth, from the salt waters are much like my food. Similar tastebuds, similar care in cuisine, and the sameness in how we revere our lands are cultural connective tissue. Your cedar rope is my palm leaf. Weaving, woven, we are intertwined.

My own roots, Chamorro and Korean, are better appreciated today with the chance to share that my maiden name, "Chargualaf" means Crab Hunter by the Moonlight, and that my married name, "Taimanglo" means No Wind.

Earlier this week, I said, "My name is Tanya and I love Wonder Woman"—but now I have new superheroes to look up to.

To the Skokomish and supporting tribes, THANK YOU.

I honor you, your ancestors, your songs, and your stories. I've connected to myself through the conduit of our common culture.

To the Skokomish and supporting tribes, I THANK YOU.

For materials from your land, for food from the earth prepared affectionately for us this past week…

WE THANK YOU.

A cedar rope, a spear, games, knowledge of flora and fauna are great tokens, but the bigger gifts you have given me is the time to connect; to a plethora of tribes, to a trove of skills, to a deeper sense of self, and how I project love and good intentions.

THANK YOU.

I am armed with new inspiration, with insight to your trauma and your perseverance to RISE. I am emboldened to be a better educator, parent, ally, and community member. [End Page 61]

Your culture, like cedar rope, endures, empowers, educates, and enlivens the next generation.

THEY THANK YOU.

From one indigenous person to you all, Si Yu'os Ma'ase, Kamsahamnida 감사합니다, for all your love, care, and permission this week.

I THANK YOU. [End Page 62]

Tanya Chargualaf Taimanglo

Tanya Chargualaf Taimanglo is an educator. Born in South Korea and raised in Guam, Taimanglo often writes about both heritages. Taimanglo serves as a BIPOC advocate in a variety of capacities. She is the author of Sirena, Attitude 13, and Secret Shopper. She contributes regularly to a variety of publications.

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