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  • CIP Hosts ‘2020 Land Administration Workshop’ to Promote Land Ownership Rights for Indigenous Peoples

    The Council of Indigenous Peoples (CIP) hosted a two-day workshop on land administration on July 22–23, 2020 at the Conference Hall of the Chateau de Chine Hotel Kaohsiung, with 210 government officials of various levels in attendance, including city mayors, county magistrates, heads of townships with significant indigenous populations, and representatives from the competent authorities. During his opening address, CIP Minister Icyang Parod noted that after President Tsai announced the amendment of Article 37 of the Slopeland Conservation and Utilization Act on January 9, 2019, the CIP immediately removed the five-year waiting period requirement from its Regulations on Development and Management of the Lands Reserved for Indigenous People and related administrative guidelines. The amended law has benefited approximately 30,000 indigenous people, who are now entitled to land ownership within indigenous reserves. CIP records show that 11,045 lots of land covering 4,844 hectares have been registered as of July 22, 2020. According to Mr. Icyang, the CIP has incorporated the Indigenous Land Development Strategies and Indigenous Land Use Guidelines into the chapter pertaining to indigenous peoples in the Strategic Plan for National Spatial Development to address the lack of land in indigenous communities for housing, farming, and burials. Even before the amendment, the CIP had been working with the Ministry of the Interior to formulate a set of guidelines to govern land use in indigenous reserves.Beginning in 2017 and as of H1 2020, the CIP has organized 77 national/regional hearings, community empowerment workshops, and consultation meetings in total. In the second half of 2020, the CIP plans to provide administrative training for each city, county, and indigenous township government. Mr. Icyang described the CIP’s efforts as a “policy breakthrough” that not only settled long-disputed land ownership rights in indigenous reserves by restoring the right of indigenous peoples to utilize their land, but also demonstrated the government’s acknowledgement of and respect for indigenous cultures and lifestyles. Mr. Icyang concluded his address

  • 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

  • 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

  • Asia Cement Corporation to Hold Consulting Hearings Pursuant to Article 21 of Indigenous Peoples Basic Law as CIP Hopes for Speedy Resolution of Mining Disputes

    June 22, 2020—The Asia Cement Corporation issued a press release today promising to consult the indigenous peoples and obtain their consent to the company’s mining rights in accordance with the Indigenous Peoples Basic Law. The Council of Indigenous Peoples (CIP) is hopeful that a consensus between the company and the indigenous peoples could be on the horizon. According to the CIP, the Asia Cement Corporation was granted a 20-year extension of its mining rights at Taroko by the Ministry of Economic Affairs, a decision that angered the residents of Bsngan community, who argued that local indigenous peoples should be consulted on the decision pursuant to the Indigenous Peoples Basic Law. However, the current Mining Act and its related enforcement rules do not contain any stipulations that require the consent of indigenous peoples for the extension of mining rights. CIP Minister Icyang Parod commended Asia Cement Corporation for implementing the informed consent procedure even as efforts to amend the Mining Act are still under way. Mr. Icyang hopes that the company will continue to work with local indigenous communities to resolve the dispute. Contact: Lowking Tasaw (specialist) Telephone: (02) 8995-3300

  • 432 Culture and Healthcare Stations by 2020: The CIP Reached Its Long-term Care 2.0 Goals

    Pursuant to Chapter 6 of the Second Decade of the Long-term Care Plan (Long-term Care 2.0) announced by the Ministry of Health and Welfare, the Council of Indigenous Peoples (CIP) has established 432 culture and healthcare stations in indigenous reserves and urban indigenous communities as of 2020, up 156% from the 169 stations in 2017 . A total of 1,140 locals have been recruited and trained to provide care services to more than 13,500 indigenous senior citizens. The project created abundant job opportunities for indigenous communities and encouraged indigenous youth to return to their hometowns for employment. According to a CIP estimate, one out of every four senior citizens receives regular care services from a culture and healthcare station. Indeed, these stations have become the center of local citizens’ everyday lives and a place for them to gather and enjoy one another’s company.    According to the original Long-term Care 2.0 plan, the CIP’s goal was to establish 380 culture and healthcare stations by 2020. However, in view of the increasing demand for care services in indigenous reserves and urban indigenous communities, the CIP has increased the project budget to NT$ 1,065,864,600.    So far this year, 119 culture and healthcare stations have been approved after a preliminary review by local governments, a secondary review by the CIP, and a final on-site review, bringing the total number of stations to 432 (367 in traditional indigenous communities and 65 in urban areas). These stations offer accessible, ongoing, professional care services to indigenous elders in a way that is respectful of their culture, creating a safe and friendly environment and a “second home” for elders to enable them to live their lives to the fullest. Contact: Wang Tzu-chun (officer) Telephone: (02) 8995-3219

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

    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 lang

  • 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 Working with the Taoyuan City Government to Build a Safe Living Environment for Kanjin and Saowac Communities

    Council of Indigenous Peoples (CIP) Minister Icyang Parod and Taoyuan City Mayor Cheng Wen-tsan visited the Kanjin and Saowac communities and surrounding areas on April 21 to carry out an inspection of a retaining wall being constructed on the left bank of sections 81 and 82 of the Dahan River (near Kanjin community), as well as to check on the progress of a drinking water quality improvement project for the two communities. According to Mr. Icyang, the residents of the Kanjin and Saowac communities are unable to obtain official household registrations as their homes are located in a flood-risk area. As a result, these residents cannot apply for tap water with the Taiwan Water Corporation, and their communities are constantly under threat of flooding. The CIP and Taoyuan City Government have been actively working to improve the living conditions of the local indigenous peoples. A public hearing was held in 2017 to discuss how to allow residents to remain in place and yet ensure their safety. Finally, in February of 2018, Kanjin locals were able to obtain household registrations. The Taoyuan City Government excavated a well to divert groundwater for drinking water, but unfortunately, the water quality was not good enough for drinking. Therefore, in 2019, the CIP used a portion of its Forward-Looking Infrastructure Development Program budget to provide funding for the Taoyuan City Government to carry out a water quality improvement project for the Kanjin and Saowac communities to give local indigenous peoples clean water. When the Taoyuan City Government completes the retaining wall on the left bank of sections 81 and 82 of the Dahan River, the frequency of flooding is expected to decrease, which will greatly increase the safety of the local indigenous people. Furthermore, the enhanced flood control facilities also mean that in the near future, Kanjin community will no longer be a flood-risk zone, opening the door to countless development opportunities for the local economy. Through the Forward-looking Infrastructure Development Program budget, Mr. Icyang has assured the Taoyuan City Government that the CIP will continue to support the expansion of public infras

  • 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