Taiwan: Aboriginals should join worldwide rights movement

Taiwan: Aboriginals should join worldwide rights movement

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John Ahni Schertow
May 28, 2007
 

After participating in the United Nations Permanent Forum, a delegation of 6 individuals from Taiwan came to realize that it’s time for the Indigenous Peoples of Taiwan to begin doing more to protect their rights.

From the Taipei Times: “Although we’re a minority, Aboriginals in Taiwan and in Japan are actually better off than indigenous peoples in many other countries,” Kao Ching-yi (???) said. “We should therefore join others in their struggle for rights.” (source)

In related news, people from the Tao Tribe recently held a gathering on Orchid Island (just off the coast of Taiwan) to teach some of their culture to a largely ethnic Chinese population.

From Reuters: “We want people to know what ocean culture is, that it’s not just a fantasy,” Shyaman Vengayan, organiser of the event, said. Orchid aborigines live now much as they have since Taiwan assumed control of the island 61 years ago. But like many minority tribes across the globe, their way of life is being threatened by an influx of outside influences and departure of youth for the big cities of nearby Taiwan…

Indigenous activists are also working to get Taiwan’s 13 recognised tribes, totalling about 400,000 people, to work together so they can lobby for their rights as a single tribe.

Activists say visits to the Philippines to study that nation’s inter-tribal activism as their own tribes drift apart could help Taiwanese aborigines – some of whom are actually ethnically related to Philippine tribes – to better challenge developments threatening their way of life. (source)

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