The Council of Indigenous Peoples held the inaugural "Exemplary Indigenous Language Mother Award Ceremony" today (May 14) at the Grand Hotel in Taipei, with President Tsai Ing-wen personally presenting the awards. This year, a total of 53 exemplary mothers from 16 indigenous tribes were selected, publicly recognizing their efforts in preserving and promoting indigenous languages.
President Tsai Ing-wen stated that creating an environment for the use of indigenous languages and cultivating language educators are essential to enable more people to speak indigenous languages, incorporating them into daily life. She highlighted the remarkable story of Ms. Imay Chen Ying-ru, who converses with her great-grandchild in the Amis language while caring for him. As a result, the child's first language is their indigenous language and he is even capable of translating when others cannot understand the indigenous language, serving as an impressive testament to the family's dedication to language preservation.
On June 14, 2017, President Tsai Ing-wen announced the implementation of the "Indigenous Languages Development Act," officially recognizing indigenous languages as national languages. The Executive Yuan allocated over NT$30 billion for the five-year "Overall Development Plan of Promoting National Languages" in July 2022 while the budget for language development from the Council of Indigenous Peoples increased from NT$500 million in 2022 to NT$1.8 billion in 2023. From the three perspectives of "family," "school," and "society," active efforts are being made to promote the integration of the national language into daily life, establish language-based families and communities, and recognize exemplary indigenous language mothers. This recognition is an important working project of the Overall Development Plan of Promoting National Languages.
Minister Icyang‧Parod, whose speech was completely in Amis, emphasized the significant role mothers play in preserving and transmitting indigenous languages within the family. He also mentioned that the Council will continue to hold the Exemplary Indigenous Language Parent Awards on Mother's Day and Father's Day yearly, aiming to promote the use and transmission of indigenous languages in more households.