Minister Icyang‧Parod of the Council of Indigenous Peoples attended the opening ceremony today (April 29). Minister Icyang stated that the Council of Indigenous Peoples and the Hualien County Government have been actively promoting the affairs of Indigenous Community Colleges since 2002. Hualien Indigenous Community College is also one of the earliest established Indigenous Community Colleges in Taiwan.
The Austronesian language family is the most widely distributed in the world, ranging from Taiwan in the north to New Zealand in the south, Madagascar in the west, and Easter Island in the east, with over 1,200 languages, accounting for one-fifth of the world's languages. Based on the research of the late American linguist Robert Blust (the founding father of Austronesian language research in Taiwan), and Li Jen-kuei, a researcher at Academia Sinica, the languages of Taiwan's indigenous people can be traced back to the earliest origins of Austronesian languages. Renowned archaeologist Peter Bellwood has also put forward the famous "Out of Taiwan'' theory. In recent years, Taiwanese botanist Chung Kuo-fang provided ethnobotanical evidence for the theory through a phylogeographic study on the Pacific paper mulberry. Minister Icyang emphasized that the opening ceremony of the Hualien Indigenous Community College today, with the theme being the homeland of Austronesians, is significant in connecting Taiwan's indigenous peoples with the Austronesian culture. Minister Icyang also expressed the hope that the young, vibrant, and creative teams of the College will jointly construct the knowledge system of the Pacific Austronesian ethnic groups.
The Council of Indigenous Peoples and the Ministry of Education have been promoting Indigenous Community Colleges for 20 years. Through the efforts of various sectors, they have achieved considerable scales and accomplishments. There are currently a total of 15 Indigenous Community Colleges established nationwide. As per the statistics of the achievements of each Indigenous Community College in 2022, there were a total of 11,725 students attending classes, with a total of 2,352 courses offered. These included programs such as Indigenous Mountain and Sea Wisdom, Indigenous Industry Development, Tribal Community and Practical Programs, and Indigenous Language Education, showcasing a rich and diverse range of courses.
Contact Person: Hsu Kai-wen