Christine (Tina) Taitano DeLisle is a CHamoru daughter of Guåhan (Guam) residing on the Dakota homelands of Minneapolis. She is an Associate Professor in the Department of American Indian Studies at the University of Minnesota. DeLisle’s research commitments are on researching Native Pacific Islander histories, especially women’s stories, public history and rewriting histories of the island of Guåhan from a CHamoru perspective.
DeLisle is the author of the book Placental Politics: Chamoru Women, White Womanhood, and Indigeneity Under U.S. Colonialism in Guam (2020), a history of CHamoru nurse-midwives and teachers and how their work of inafa’maolek (of “making good”) was enmeshed in the work of white American navy wives (for more, see: https://cla.umn.edu/ais/news-events/story/indigeneity-placental-politics-guam). The book draws on this early twentieth century history of CHamoru women’s resistance against colonial efforts to stamp out inafa’maolek knowledge (like the precautionary practice of placenta burial) to articulate an Indigenous feminist “placental politics” of CHamoru women protecting people and land and feminist assertions of CHamoru sovereignty against US colonial and military patriarchy. For DeLisle, this Native-inspired theory and practice of placental politics of the past has important implications for a new round of militarization in Guåhan and Indigenous and allyship activism of women, LGBTQ+ and youth against lands, waters, and the sacred. You can learn about some of the ways Chamoru women held onto traditional Indigenous practices, beliefs and rituals around childbirthing and pregnancy in this context of US military presence and aggression in Guam here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iihbnLUCf5M
DeLisle is the granddaughter of Juan Guerrero Taitano (Familian Liberatu/Kabesa) and Maria Castro San Nicolas Taitano (Familian Nungi-Assan) and the daughter of Arthur James and Maria Taitano DeLisle. She was born and raised in Guåhan (Yigu) and she and her husband, Vince Diaz, have three daughters: Nicole, Gabriela, and Eva, and a granddaughter, Maria-Sol. She is currently involved in canoe revitalization and water stewardship projects between Indigenous Micronesians of Mni Sota Makoce and Dakota communities of the Upper and Lower Sioux.
Delisle has served for many years on the council of the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association and is a member of the Guåhan-based women’s organization, I Hagan Famalåo’an Guåhan. She is an inspiring Indigenous feminist scholar and her work is a critically important reflection on the limits and possibilities for Indigenous history and studies especially in light of the context of US imperialism and the Pacific.
Select Recent Publications
Delisle, Christine Taitano, “Destination Chamorro Culture: Notes on Relignment, Rebranding, and Post-9/11 Militourism in Guam, American Quarterly, 68:3 (2016) 563-572.
Delisle, Christine Taitano and Moberg, Laurie and, “Environmental Stewardship, Place and Community: A Reading List,” Open Rivers: Rethinking Water, Place and Community 17 (Fall 2020): https://editions.lib.umn.edu/openrivers/article/environment-place-community-reading-list/
DeLisle, Christine Taitano. “‘Guamanian-Chamorro by Birth but American Patriotic by Choice’: Subjectivity and Performance in the Life of Agueda Iglesias Johnston.” Amerasia Journal 37, no. 3 (2011): 61–75.