September 2, 2022—To commemorate the 35th anniversary of the opening of the CIP-affiliated Taiwan Indigenous Peoples Cultural Park on July 18, 1987, the Kemasi Maza: Start From Here exhibition kicked off today at 11:00 a.m. with Premier Su Tseng-Chang attending in person to offer his congratulations and support to the CIP.
The full text of Minister Icyang’s speech is as follows:
This year marks the 35th anniversary of the Taiwan Indigenous Peoples Cultural Park. On the day of its opening on July 18, 1987, I was opposed to the concept behind its establishment and set-up, so I came with another tribal member to protest against its stereotyping and commercialization of indigenous cultures, especially since the policy at that time prohibited the speaking of indigenous languages yet a park was established to call for the preservation of indigenous culture. Personally, I didn’t want the preservation and development of indigenous culture to be confined to a park where it was not subject to tribal control. Indigenous culture should take root in the tribe before it can develop outward and be internationalized.
I would like to thank President Tsai Ing-Wen for the passage of the Indigenous Languages Development Act on June 24, 2017, one year after apologizing on behalf of the government to the indigenous peoples on August 1, 2016. In January this year, Premier Su established the National Languages Promotion Board, where he serves as its convener, and approved an investment fund of over NT$30 billion for the five-year National Languages Comprehensive Development Plan. I would also like to thank the Premier for supporting the CIP’s language development promotion budget and increasing it from NT$ 500 million this year to NT$ 1.3 billion next year.
In recent years, the park has been granted NT$ 1.214 billion in funding for the Six-year Medium- to Long-Term Rehabilitation Plan, which will lead to a comprehensive upgrade of the software and hardware facilities and equipment in the park. I would like to thank the Premier for approving an additional NT$ 347.1 million in April of this year, which makes this the largest investment of funds since the founding of the park. Currently, we have completed improvements to the park’s roads and parking lots, purchased eight eco-friendly, and energy-efficient electric trams, and rebuilt 25 traditional Indigenous housing displays and 60 auxiliary facilities. Most importantly, we plan to invite the Premier to inspect the soon-to-be-completed Indigenous Theater construction project.
The 35th-anniversary exhibition opening today covers the founding history of the park as well as its achievements in the preservation and maintenance of indigenous culture. It is worth mentioning that the cultural park is also an important historical site that influenced the revitalization of indigenous culture. It was in this park in 1994 that late President Lee Teng-Hui used the designation “indigenous peoples” instead of “mountain compatriots” in a first for a head of state. Of course, this significant change was directly related to the perseverance of so many members of the indigenous community who worked unceasingly for the indigenous movement over the years—it was ultimately the result of our people coming together to achieve the incorporation of indigenous rights into the Constitution.
Finally, I would like to encourage our colleagues to increase our efforts to make Taiwan Indigenous Peoples Cultural Park the best place for international exposure to the indigenous culture of Taiwan, so that Taiwan’s indigenous music, dance, arts, and crafts may shine brightly in Taiwan and the international arena. I extend my best wishes for the 35th anniversary of the park and also wish you all good health and good fortune. Aray!