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  • CIP to Invest another NT$ 132.86 Million in Road, Bridge, and Infrastructure Improvements in Indigenous Communities

    In order to improve roads and other infrastructure in indigenous communities, the Council of Indigenous Peoples (CIP) approved 31 applications by local governments under the 2020 Indigenous Community Sustainability and Landscaping Project and the Indigenous Community Feature Road Improvement Plan with a combined budget of NT$ 132.86 million. According to CIP Minister Icyang Parod, the locations that received subsidies are centers of political and everyday life in local indigenous communities. The CIP sets aside an annual budget to help local governments make infrastructure improvements and to spur economic and industrial development for indigenous peoples and thus protect their right to public safety, transportation, and health care, as well as to provide them with a safer and more convenient living environment. The CIP pointed to the Anasolay community, one of the indigenous communities that received a subsidy this year, as an example. Located in Meihe Village, Taimali Township, Taitung County, the Anasolay community sits on a steep hillside. The mountain behind the residential buildings has posed an increasing risk of flooding and mudslides in recent years due to frequent torrential rains, and so the CIP funded the construction of retaining walls with drainage facilities to secure the slope, drain rainwater, and protect local residents. Another example furnished by the CIP is that of Xiweng Road in Hsinchu County. This is the main road that connects the Si’ung community with the outside world, and it also cuts through the neighboring Mintuyu and Sansaru indigenous communities. Long stretches of persimmon plantations can be seen along the road, and popular scenic spots such as the Xiweng Waterfall and Campsite are just nearby. However, insufficient drainage facilities have caused severe damage to the road, posing a danger to travelers and local residents. Therefore, the CIP approved a NT$ 23.29 million budget for road improvements, installing ditches, retaining walls, guardrails, and reflective markings to increase road safety, which in turn strengthened the local tourism and produce industries. Most importantly, the people of Si’ung community wil

  • CIP Financial Coaches Visit Indigenous Communities to Accept Applications for Economic Relief

     March 18, 2020 —To lessen the impact of COVID-19 on indigenous business owners, the Council of Indigenous Peoples (CIP) announced the Indigenous Peoples’ Economic Relief Plan. With this plan, the CIP hopes to provide fair and prompt financial aid to ensure the stability of indigenous industries and help local businesses get through these trying times. The CIP sent financial coaches to visit indigenous business owners in person and accept applications for the relief program. As of April 17, the CIP received 823 applications, 780 (or 94.7%) of which have been approved.    According to CIP Minister Icyang Parod, the relief plan is targeted at loan holders of the Indigenous Peoples Comprehensive Development Fund (including regular business loans and youth entrepreneur loans) and companies that were issued CIP-backed credit guarantees to apply for loans. According to internal statistics, 1,341 of these loans still had an outstanding balance as of February 29, 2020. To provide immediate, effective, and meaningful relief, CIP financial coaches visited these businesses in person to help them choose the most appropriate relief options and complete their applications on the spot. Within a matter of weeks, 61% of the 1,341 eligible businesses had applied.    Mr. Icyang stated that not all eligible businesses accepted relief. 169 business owners told their financial coach that they were willing to give up their benefits so that government resources could be directed to businesses that have been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Meanwhile, the CIP has received numerous phone calls and Facebook messages from those who had accepted relief and wanted to express their gratitude. Some of them told the CIP that the relief measure had eased the pressure of repaying their loans and given them more time to prepare for future challenges.    In order to promote the relief plan and answer any questions applicants might have, the CIP set up a toll-free hotline (0800-508-188) specifically to provide information on financial relief and concessional loans as well as a dedicated COVID-19 section on its official website (https://www

  • CIP Organizes Indigenous Arts Workshops to Promote ‘Epidemic Prevention Lifestyle’

    July 6, 2020—To promote indigenous handicrafts and other industries, the Council of Indigenous Peoples (CIP) established the Aboriginal Peoples Culture Center (APC Center) as a venue for training talent in traditional indigenous skills. Courses at the center were interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020, but thanks to the disease control measures implemented by the government and the cooperation of the general public, the number of new COVID-19 cases has been brought to a minimum. Therefore in May, the center began accepting new course registrations once again. The first course to resume was the bamboo weaving certification program, which held its first session today. In Taiwan’s indigenous cultures, everyday objects made of linen, bamboo strips, rattan, and shell ginger leaves such as bamboo back baskets, rattan storage bins, and shell ginger handbags are very common. As one of the most important venues for preserving and passing down indigenous heritage, the Aboriginal Peoples Culture Center (APC Center) set up the bamboo weaving certification program and hired a professional instructor to help trainees improve their weaving skills. Furthermore, trainees are encouraged to engage in discussion, think outside the box, and create innovative products with their newly acquired weaving skills. Those who successfully complete the program can apply for certification as a bamboo weaving specialist under the Ministry of Labor’s Professional Skills Certification Program. The CIP collects feedback from trainees to help the center develop a wider range of courses that keep pace with trends in indigenous industries, and as a result, three new categories of courses in the cultural and creative industries, leisure and recreation, and agriculture were added to the curriculum. In addition to training students in technical skills through lessons taught by skilled instructors, the APC Center invites indigenous people with prosperous businesses to share their success stories with the trainees to help them master entrepreneurship and innovation. These programs are offered to indigenous peoples free of charge. Except for travel expenses to and from the

  • CIP Publishes Policy Performance Review with Titles in Chinese and Indigenous Languages for the First Time

    Article 1 of the Indigenous Languages Development Act states that “indigenous languages are national languages,” and Article 2 Paragraph 2 of the same act defines “indigenous scripts” as “writing systems used to record indigenous languages.” As a demonstration of the government’s commitment to enforcing the act, the Council of Indigenous Peoples (CIP) published the O Pitiri'an to Heci^ no Nitayalan no Yin-cu-min-cu: 2016–2020 (“A Review of Policy Outcomes by the Council of Indigenous Peoples: 2016–2020”), the first policy performance report with both a Chinese title and one written in the Amis language. The report was assigned an International Standard Book Number (ISBN) and passed the Cataloging in Publication (CIP) application review. The National Central Library has included the report as part of its permanent collection, marking a new page in the history of the indigenous peoples of Taiwan. The report details 20 major CIP policy initiatives between May 20, 2016 and May 20, 2020, as well as their outcomes.    In Mr. Icyang Parod’s four years as the CIP Minister, his team has not only continued to carry out routine tasks serving the indigenous peoples, but has also completed many challenging projects that had been delayed or put aside for a number of years. Major policy outcomes in the report can be classified into the following 6 categories: 1. Indigenous languages revitalization: The Indigenous Languages Development Act Promulgated on June 14, 2017 defines indigenous languages as national languages. The CIP has established a number of indigenous language promotion organizations that train professional language teachers and offer mentorship programs in order to preserve critically endangered languages. 2. Establishment of indigenous culture and healthcare stations: The number of culture and healthcare stations increased from 121 in 2016 to 413 in 2020, while caregivers’ pay has been raised from NT$ 15,000 to NT$ 33,000. Improvements have also been made to the facilities and their surroundings to give indigenous elders a safer and more comfortable gathering space. 3. Co

  • CIP Minister Icyang Parod Visits Nakahila Community Meeting Hall in Zhouxi Township, Hualien County, Promises Additional Funding of NT$ 159.58 Million to Improve the Meeting Hall and Its Connecting Roads

    On the morning of April 25, Council of Indigenous Peoples (CIP) Minister Icyang Parod visited the Nakahila Community Meeting Hall, which is currently under construction in Zhouxi Township, Hualien County, for a briefing alongside the township mayor, village chief, and community leader and members. Mr. Icyang stated after listening to the briefing that the meeting hall serves as a center of political and everyday life for local indigenous communities, and that it is where regular community meetings and traditional harvest festivals take place. In order to preserve indigenous culture and ensure traffic safety, the CIP sets aside an annual budget to help local governments build indigenous meeting halls and carry out road improvements to give local indigenous peoples a cultural space and safe roads to use when going to work, school, or the hospital. According to Mr. Icyang, meeting halls are of great significance to indigenous communities, while a safe road network facilitates disaster relief, improves healthcare accessibility, and benefits local commuters. The CIP has provided additional funding of NT$ 159.58 million to build two meeting halls, design two more, and improve road conditions in 15 locations. Zhouxi Township, Hualien County is the location of two of the 19 projects—the new Nakahila Community Meeting Hall and repairs on the Lunbushan Communication Road, which is the main road connecting the Dauqpusan and Swasal communities. Traffic here is often interrupted by road closures due to potholes caused by torrential rains. A feasibility study was commissioned in July 2018, and the project is currently in the planning and design stage. Once the design is finalized, the CIP will provide the necessary funding for road repairs to protect local indigenous peoples’ fundamental rights. At the end of the briefing, Mr. Icyang reiterated the CIP’s commitment to working with local governments to build new meeting halls and improve public road infrastructure to create a high-quality, sustainable living environment for the indigenous peoples. CIP Contact: Ku Chi-min Telephone: (02) 8995-3278 or 0932-236643

  • CIP Co-Organizes 3rd Māori New Year Celebration with New Zealand Commerce and Industry Office as Taiwan Recovers from COVID-19

    Since 2018, the Council of Indigenous Peoples (CIP) and the New Zealand Commerce and Industry Office (NZCIO) have co-organized annual Māori New Year celebration events in Taiwan. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s celebration took place as scheduled, albeit on a smaller scale. The event featured traditional Māori cuisine as the two countries celebrated the deep cultural connections between their indigenous peoples. Residents of Hualien County’s Harawan community were present at the event to show their support. They had previously visited New Zealand and forged a deep friendship with the local Māori people. The 2020 Matariki (start of the new year) celebrations were held on the afternoon of July 17 by the CIP and the NZCIO. CIP Minister Icyang Parod and NZCIO Director Moira Turley co-hosted the event. Presidential spokesperson Kolas Yotaka and several diplomatic representatives were also in attendance. New Zealand and the Māori people celebrate Matariki and the Māori culture in June or July every year by putting on kapa haka performances and preparing hangi dishes. Named after the Pleiades (or the Seven Sisters) in the Māori language, Matariki is the single most important festival of the Māori people. In Māori culture, the first new moon after the first rising of Matariki signifies the beginning of a new year. For the Māori people, the star cluster is important for navigation and timing the seasons. It is said that the brighter Matariki is, the warmer the weather and the greater the harvest will be in the coming year. According to Mr. Icyang, this year’s Matariki celebration in Taiwan served as a home away from home for New Zealanders of Māori descent living in Taiwan while also demonstrating the unique cultural bonds that exist between the indigenous peoples of the two countries. Mr. Icyang hopes that New Zealand and Taiwan will both come out of the COVID-19 pandemic stronger than ever before. Contact: SAYUN Tosu (specialist) Telephone: (02) 8995-3092

  • The Hawaiki Project: Tsou Youth from Saviki to pay a return visit to New Zealand

    February 12, 2020—Representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the New Zealand Commerce and Industry Office Taipei attended a press conference held by the Council of Indigenous Peoples (CIP) at which CIP Minister Icyang Parod presented the R.O.C. flag to a group of teenagers from the Tsou indigenous tribe who were on their way to New Zealand to participate in the Hawaiki Project. The teens, who had undergone training prior to their departure, performed the Mayasvi dance suite, a traditional Tsou ritual, at the press conference and read the oath in their mother tongue in a moving demonstration of their achievements. (See the appendix for the oath in Chinese and the Tsou language.) Mr. Icyang noted that many linguists and anthropologists consider Taiwan to be the place of origin of the Austronesian Peoples, who include both the indigenous groups of Taiwan and the Māori of New Zealand, which happens to be the southernmost place on earth with a significant Austronesian settlement. Despite the distance between the two, Taiwan’s Tsou and New Zealand’s Māori peoples actually share striking cultural and linguistic similarities. Hawaiki means “ancestral home” or “the place where the ancestors lived” in Māori, and Hawaiki Nui means “finding one’s roots.” The Hawaiki Project promotes engagement and exchanges between the Tsou and Māori peoples. According to the CIP, Ms. Kolas Yotaka, an Executive Yuan spokesperson, played an important role in making the project a reality. In 2018, the inaugural year of the project, teenagers from Ngāti Manu, a Māori community in the North Island of New Zealand, visited the Tsou Harawan community on a 10-day cultural journey. In August of the following year (2019), the same group of teens visited the Saviki community in Alishan Township, Chiayi County, where they learned local hunting traditions and forest survival lore. To continue strengthening the ties that are developing between Taiwan’s indigenous peoples and the Māori, the CIP has selected a delegation of 12 outstanding teenagers from the Saviki community to pay a return visit to New Zealand. These cultural

  • CIP Minister visits Hualien’s Guangfu Township to check the progress of improvements to residential bathroom facilities for local indigenous elders

    Guangfu Township, Hualien County has seen great progress in installing and improving flush toilets and accessible bathroom facilities in residences belonging to indigenous elders, a project funded by the central government. Today (January 7, 2020), Council of Indigenous Peoples (CIP) Minister Icyang Parod paid a visit to their homes to inspect the improvements. The elders were outspoken about their appreciation of the government’s humanitarian policy and the concern it showed for their safety and quality of life. Mr. Icyang pointed out that many households in the Hualien–Taitung Valley still rely on squat toilets, and very few have sanitation facilities that are easily accessible to the elderly. This presents a problem as many of these households consist mainly of senior citizens, resulting in frequent accidents when they use the toilet. The CIP has set aside a budget of NT$ 20 million (NT$10 million each for Hualien and Taitung counties) to help disadvantaged indigenous families in the region make improvements to their bathrooms and toilet facilities in 2019 and 2020. The project is expected to help prevent slips and falls in the bathroom, reduce accidents, and increase the safety and quality of life of the elderly. On September 20 of last year (2018), Mr. Icyang announced that the CIP is committed to “providing comfortable and slip-proof bathrooms for every indigenous elder.” Mr. Icyang specifically required his administrative team to simplify and streamline the application process to offer maximum convenience to applicants, and with the cooperation of the township offices in the two counties, application review rates have increased dramatically. Currently, the Hualien County Government has processed 109 applications while the Taitung County Government has processed 116. Installations and improvements are already under way. After the inspection, Mr. Icyang reiterated that the project will last until the end of 2020, and that the government is still accepting applications. Eligible indigenous households may visit their local Township Office to apply or make inquiries. The following documents are required: a copy of the household certi

  • CIP holds Indigenous Languages Development Forum in Celebration of International Mother Language Day

    UNESCO has designated February 21 as International Mother Language Day to promote native language preservation. In observance of the holiday, the Council of Indigenous Peoples (CIP) held the Indigenous Languages Development Forum at the Grand Hotel Taipei on February 22–23, 2020. Also taking place during the conference were the inauguration ceremony for the Indigenous Languages Development Foundation, the awards ceremony for model civil servants and government agencies in promoting indigenous languages, and divisional administrative meetings. President Tsai Ing-wen, who considers indigenous language promotion a priority policy, attended the conference in person. Among the 400 other attendees were ambassadors and representatives from the Republic of Palau and nine other countries, Taitung County Magistrate Rao Ching-ling, township mayors, and NGO representatives. CIP Minister Icyang Parod gave an address in the Amis language, which was simultaneously interpreted into Chinese and English. This marked the first time in the CIP’s 24 years of history that a minister has given a formal address entirely in an indigenous language, and it set an example for a mother-tongue friendly environment, an important objective in the Indigenous Languages Development Act. Mr. Icyang’s full address is included below, translated into English : Distinguished guests and my fellow indigenous peoples, welcome! Fifty years ago, the government banned the use of our mother tongues, which is why our languages are dying now. Today, indigenous people under 50 years of age cannot communicate fluently, if at all, with one another in their mother tongue. For the younger generation, their native languages have fallen by the wayside and faded into oblivion. Today, our languages are facing extinction. On August 1, 2016, Indigenous Peoples Day in Taiwan, President Tsai Ing-wen issued a formal apology to the indigenous peoples of Taiwan on behalf of the government. In particular, she apologized for the institutional failure that resulted in the loss of indigenous languages and promised to protect our people from losing our own languages ever again. Here, I would like to quote the

  • Major Historical Events of the Indigenous Peoples of Taiwan book series reconstructs Taiwan’s history from indigenous perspectives

    February 19, 2020—The Council of Indigenous Peoples (CIP) held a book launch event for the Major Historical Events of the Indigenous Peoples of Taiwan book series in Room 401 of the NTUH International Convention Center today. The CIP invited the authors of the series to share their writing processes, and asked more than 100 indigenous people whose ancestors bore witness to these 10 historical events to share their stories with the audience. Government officials in attendance included Deputy Secretary-General to the President Mr. Lee Chun-yi, Minister without Portfolio Mr. Lin Wan-i, as well as legislators Ms. Ciwas Ali and Mr. Sra Kacaw. The book series offers readers a deeper, more nuanced view of Taiwan’s history by examining past events through an indigenous lens. Mr. Icyang Parod, Minister of the CIP, gave the following speech at the event: “President Tsai issued a formal apology to the indigenous peoples of Taiwan on behalf of the government on August 1, 2016 for its reinforcing a Han Chinese historical perspective in past decades while denying agency to Taiwan’s indigenous peoples. She stated, and I quote, ‘There is a book called The General History of Taiwan published in 1920. In its foreword are these words: “Taiwan had no history until the Dutch pioneered it, the Koxinga Kingdom built it, and the Qing Empire managed it.” This is a typical Han view of history. The truth is that indigenous peoples have been here for thousands of years, with rich culture and wisdom that have been passed down through generations. But we only know to write history from the perspective of the dominant. For this, I apologize to the indigenous peoples on behalf of the government.’ On behalf of the CIP, I would like to express my sincerest gratitude to and deepest appreciation of the authors and my fellow indigenous friends present today who are willing to share their perspectives on what occurred in our history. Thanks to your contributions, Taiwan’s history is no longer told through a single perspective; thanks to your contributions, Taiwan’s history just got a bit richer today.” After the President issued th