To respond to the needs of the indigenous peoples, as well as to bring Taiwan in line with global trends in 1996 the Executive Yuan began preparations for the establishment of a central government organization devoted to indigenous affairs. Organizational laws were formulated in the same year to provide a legal basis for the development of this organization. On November 1, 1996, the Legislative Yuan approved the organizational bylaws of the Council of Aboriginal Affairs. On December 1- of the same year, the Executive Yuan officially established the Council to carry out coordination and planning of indigenous affairs. This marked a new milestone in Taiwan’s national policy, providing consistent and progressive formulation and execution of indigenous policies, and coordinated planning for the full-scale development of indigenous society appropriate for the new century.
In response to the functional and organizational adjustments of the Taiwan Provincial Government, the Taiwan Provincial Aboriginal Affairs Commission was incorporated into the Council on July 1, 1999, with its office in Jhongsing New Village serving as the Council’s central Taiwan office. The Council also took over management of the Indigenous Peoples Cultural Park from the provincial commission. On January 4, 2002, the legislative Yuan approved amendments to the organizational bylaws, with the Council renamed the Council of Indigenous Peoples, Executive Yuan, on March 25 of the same year. Its organizational structure was revised to include the Planning, Education and Culture, Health and Welfare, Economic and Public Construction and Land Management departments.
The Council plans and promotes indigenous policies and affairs based on guidelines laid out in constitutional amendments, the Indigenous Policy White Paper and a new partnership agreement between Taiwan’s government and indigenous people signed by President Chen Shui-bian. The Council follows the concepts of upholding national interest with priority given to promoting quality of life among indigenous peoples when formulating policy directions and strategies, to enhance the living standards of the pride among indigenous tribes and to restore their confidence and status. At the same time, this Council maintains policy objectives of the Executive Yuan-initiated “ six-star action plan for healthy communities-indigenous village sustainable development project”.
The Council of Indigenous Peoples includes the minister, council members, deputy ministers, chief secretary, Department of Planning, Department of Education and Culture, Department of Health and Welfare, Department of Economic and Public Construction, Department of Land Management, the secretariat, personnel office, accounting office and Bureau of Indigenous Peoples Cultural Park. The designated number of Council personnel is between 142 and 163, and that for the Bureau of Indigenous Peoples Cultural Park is between 17 and 19.