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CIP Approves Budget of NT$ 57.81 Million to Support Organizations Promoting Indigenous Languages and Bottom-up Language Revitalization

  • 更新時間:2020/08/26 15:11:00

The Council of Indigenous Peoples (CIP) approved the Project for Establishing Organizations to Promote Indigenous Languages and Preserve Endangered Languages with a budget of NT$ 57.81 million (approximately 3 million per language). The project subsidizes organizations that promote indigenous languages and work to preserve endangered languages. These organizations have encouraged people of indigenous descent to join in the revitalization of their mother tongues, creating a bottom-up momentum for language development.   

The project was carried out in accordance with Article 6 of the newly promulgated Indigenous Languages Development Act, which stipulates that the central competent authority shall assist all indigenous ethnic groups in establishing organizations to take charge of ethnic language promotion. Article 7 of the act states, “The central competent authority shall stipulate policies for the development of indigenous languages and give priority to the revitalization of endangered languages.” As the central competent authority, the CIP began helping indigenous ethnic groups establish their own language promotion organizations in 2018. By December 2019, each organization had completed a preliminary human resource inventory to understand ethnic group members’ language ability and convened a consensus meeting to discuss language development plans. For example, the organization promoting the critically endangered Hla'alua language started a mentorship program. After one year of training, a full-time mentee who had originally had very little ability in the language passed the advanced indigenous language proficiency test and became an anchor at the Taiwan Indigenous Television Network (TITV). The organization promoting the Sakizaya language started the Sakizaya Wikipedia Project with members contributing more than 1,800 entries. This marks the 29th Wikipedia written in an Austronesian language and the 1st written in a Formosan language.   

According to CIP Minister Icyang Parod, the CIP has spared no effort in supporting organizations that promote indigenous languages and find innovative ways to revitalize indigenous languages. In late December 2019, the CIP invited members of language promotion organizations and language preservation specialists to share their progress with each other. Furthermore, during the inaugural Indigenous Languages Development Forum that took place at the Grand Hotel Taipei on February 22–23, 2020, the CIP provided a clear outline for collaboration and the division of work between promotion organizations, local governments, language promotion agents, teachers, language preservation specialists, and the Indigenous Languages Research and Development Center. The CIP also set the following policy objectives for 2020: (1) to establish a cooperation mechanism and platform for language promotion organizations and personnel; (2) to support efforts to revitalize indigenous languages through research projects, resource development, language competitions, and ethnic language-speaking communities; (3) to host indigenous language camps; (4) to continue with mentorship programs for endangered languages.   

Mr. Icyang Parod said that since the promulgation of the Indigenous Languages Development Act in June of 2017, the CIP had invested considerable resources and energy into promoting indigenous languages. In addition to assisting indigenous communities in establishing language promotion organizations as autonomous platforms for language preservation, research, development, and promotion, the CIP has also established the Foundation for the Research and Development of Indigenous Languages and trained language promotion agents, teachers, and preservation specialists to ensure job specialization in the teaching, promotion, and research of indigenous languages. These language promotion organizations have created a bottom-up momentum for revitalizing indigenous languages. In the future, the CIP will continue to provide ample funding and serve as an intermediary between these organizations to ensure the comprehensive development of indigenous languages.

Contact: Huang Ming-ting (specialist)

Telephone: (02) 8995-3116