Western colonization of Pacific Islands has devasted natural and cultural resources through the centuries. However, colonial systems still dominate research and conservation of these resources. We focus on the Mariana Islands, which are unincorporated U.S. territories in the Western Pacific. The indigenous people here have extensive knowledge of their forests, coral reefs, and shorelines, having harvested food and medicine from these habitats for over 3000 years. We will share about past and present injustices and conflicts, as well as offer our thoughts on how to progress with research and conservation that is reliable, fact-based, and decolonized.