by Brian Hioe and Parson Young
English /// 中文
Translator: Brian Hioe
Photo credit: Enbion Micah Aan
On May 9th in New York City, New Bloom interviewed LIMA Taiwan Indigenous Youth Working Group regarding their visit to the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.
New Bloom: Can you all introduce yourselves? And can you discuss what organizational work does LIMA pursue?
Veneng: I’m Veneng Dalijabaiyan, my Han name is Dong Guiling. Currently I’m studying genetic engineering at Cornell University. LIMA has been around the same amount of time I’ve been studying in America, almost four years. I joined because my cousin Gasi and Tuhi and everyone else began this organization. Although I myself am a Paiwan, because I’m often out of the country studying, I rarely have the opportunity to meet with other indigenous students the same age as me (of course, now it happens more often). I didn’t participate in this kind of activity previously, so when I heard my cousin was establishing this organization, I was quite interested. But because of my study outside of Taiwan, I can rarely participate in events like this. So whenever LIMA comes to America, I’m always very enthusiastic to learn new things by their side.
Eleng: My Han name is Guo Wen-Syuan, I’m a Paiwan from Pingtung, my given name is Eleng, my family name is Kazagiljan. In 2012, I participated in the the Council of Indigenous Peoples’ training program for international indigenous affairs, as a result of which I came to know Tuhi and other friends. Later on, Tuhi approached us, asking if we wanted to go to the UN to work on an initiative for indigenous peoples. I graduated from the law department of National Cheng Chi University. Right now I work as the international news editor for Taiwan Indigenous Television. As an organization, we on our own decide on the training course and reading group in preparation for attending the UN conference, with the aim of understanding international mechanisms and what is currently discussed among indigenous peoples across the world. We discovered that the problems they are concerned with are quite connected to those in Taiwan, there are some similarities.
Photo credit: Enbion Micah Aan
Gasi: I’m called Che-Hao, my clan name is Valagas Gadeljeman and my nickname is Gasi. I first came with LIMA to the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) in 2013, but the organization LIMA was gradually established by our circle of friends who are interested in the project. In the beginning, it wasn’t a founded as a team, but was formed by those of us working in different fields and living in different places (Taipei or Pingtung), who were interested in indigenous issues or world indigenous issues, because we knew Taiwan’s indigenous issues and world indigenous issues were connected.
We mostly are students in Taipei and wanted to organize a reading group. During the course of the reading group, we discovered that the connections of the participants of the reading group with their respective communities was quite strong. Although the people who worked on international indigenous issues had strong English language skills, regarding indigenous issues of their own communities, they weren’t necessarily as strong as our understanding of cultural development in our own. We began as a group of friends, but when we go out of the country to attend events, we act more like an organization. Before it was Tuhi who was responsible for international work, participating the UNPFII on her own. But she felt this need for a group of young people to come and participate in it, so she asked us if we wanted to start a reading group.
Eleng: During this time, we felt that we needed a name, so after some discussion we chose “LIMA”.
Gasi: This is because in our different languages, we all have the word “LIMA.” It can represent the number “5” or convey the idea of “hand.” We feel that this word points to how there are ties between all of us as individuals. I myself graduated from National Taiwan University’s Graduate Institute of Building and Planning, right now I work as a research assistant in the department of anthropology. At the same time, I’m also working on neighborhood construction in Makazayazaya and planning as a research assistant. Currently, I do design work for LIMA.
Photo credit: Enbion Micah Aan
Ljius: I’m a Paiwan from Tjuvecekadan, Pingtung and my Paiwan name is Ljius. My Han name is Shiu Jia-Rung, currently I’m a second year MA student at the department of International Communications at National Cheng Chi University, and I also work as a research assistant at the institute of International Relations. I came across LIMA because while I was the president of the indigenous students’ club at Shih Hsin University, about four years ago, Tuhi was invited to give a workshop, and that’s when I came to meet her. Later on, I met fellow LIMA members Wen-Syuan (Eleng) and Gasi, and found out that they were concerned with international affairs in LIMA. This led me to be quite interested in LIMA. So this is the first year I’ve participated in LIMA, I’m a newcomer.
Tuhi: My Han name is Ting-Hui Hung Chien, my traditional name is Tuhi Martukaw, I’m a Pinuyumayan. To be honest, when we started, we didn’t have a very clear internal division of labor, because we depended on discussion and consensus to make decisions. Although we say that because I’m the oldest that I’m the titular leader, we always make decisions through group discussions rather than by individual members.
Regarding our work, like Gasi said just before quite clearly, what is important is making international networking and making connections with our communities, as well as the empowerment of local young people. The important reason for it is because if we want to make international connections, grassroots and local work is very important. Understanding of local consciousness in our own communities is very important. This is a situation with two sides to it. Up to now people that participate in international work, not just indigenous people, what’s more visible is the aspect directed towards the outside, and with less focus on the importance of local connections.
Photo credit: Enbion Micah Aan
New Bloom: For readers not familiar with LIMA, can you explain what your organization does? Also, can you explain how LIMA formed as an organization from different indigenous ethnic groups and not just one group? Because many times, Taiwanese indigenous are treated as though they were all just one, homogeneous group.
Gasi: You’ll actually discover that LIMA’s organizational structure is mostly people in cities organizing reading groups or working in cities that are able to meet together. Indigenous people living in Taipei come from different communities, so that’s why LIMA didn’t form from just one community. From 2013 when we began up until now, there are Paiwan, Rukai, Pinuyumayan, Atayal, Bunun, and others.
Tuhi: Although we currently seem to have more Paiwan, Paiwan originally are divided between Paiwan in Taitung, Pingtung, as well as between Northern Paiwan, Southern Paiwan, and Central Paiwan. Today our organization includes three Paiwan members who are from different Paiwan communities. Taiwan’s indigenous nations don’t just include the 16 recognized nations, but every nation has different diversity within it, whether in the example of the Paiwan I just gave or others. Likewise, concerning my own Pinuyumayan Peoples, when we came to the conference last year, there were two other female representatives from Pinuyumayan nation, but we were from different communities/clans. This contributes to our diversity when we discuss indigenous issues.
Gasi: I feel that because we are from different indigenous nations and areas, we have different points of view. So although the word “LIMA” shares similar meaning in every group’s languages, it can also illustrate the diversity of a group or a cause.
New Bloom: Why did LIMA come to New York this time? And what are new challenges faced by LIMA this year?
Photo credit: Enbion Micah Aan
Eleng: This year, Tsai Ing-Wen was just elected as president and she has stated that the government will make a formal apology to indigenous peoples, as well as realize transitional justice. Within the country, there is gradually more and more discussion on this topic. We’ve found that this is a close match with the issues discussed in the United Nations. This year, the UN’s topic happens to be “Indigenous Peoples: Conflict, Peace and Resolution”, which can be connected to transitional justice and the process of seeking sovereignty. So we hope to raise this issue, whether regarding discussions within the UN, or with the talks we gave at Cafe Philo, or at the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO). This is our general aim for this year.
Ljius: I feel my personal goal is to go to the outside and look around, because this is my first time leaving the country. While studying international communications, I’ve learned about these international organizations, and look forward to seeing international indigenous organizations and seeing what international indigenous organizations do. I hope I can bring what I learn back to my community. This year, a friend from my community, Dremedreman Curimudjuq received a sponsorship from the Ministry of Culture for young people, and we initiated the Tjuvecekadan Youth project and started a series of workshops in our community. Through the project, I hope to bring back these issues I learnt in the UN, to allow young people in the community to know about indigenous peoples internationally.
Gasi: Before LIMA leaves Taiwan, we always organize one or two reading group sessions per month, to arrive at consensus through the reading group and to discuss different issues in our communities, as well as setting goals before we depart for New York. This time in New York we met our partners from Taiwan, as in Cafe Philo or New Bloom. In truth, us indigenous organizations have in the past been a little closed off, and feel that when we pursue activities abroad, we often interact with mostly indigenous organizations. This time as well as last year, we wanted to meet with non-indigenous Taiwanese friends to build connections regarding indigenous issues. We feel that these past few days we have gradually met our goal, such as our talk at Cafe Philo or our interview today with New Bloom. We feel that indigenous issues cannot only be concerned with by indigenous peoples, it also needs different partner organizations to spread awareness of this.
Photo credit: Enbion Micah Aan
The new challenges of this year would be, like Eleng said before, transitional justice is discussed very little in the United Nations. Taiwan’s indigenous people have very concretely expressed their voices and are evaluating President Tsai’s political promises. Before we came to New York, we organized a discussion to collect different opinions, and organize these views into a declaration. Our challenge is to allow this declaration to enter into the UN while establishing connections between New York and Taipei. At that time, during our meeting, we went through the media to let our opinions be heard. The other reason why we felt this was a new challenge was because very few indigenous organizations speak about transitional justice, so we hoped to use this as an opportunity to bring this perspective to the fore.
New Bloom: What other activities does LIMA organize? What do you hope to accomplish through these activities? Subsequently, in five years, what does LIMA aim to do?
Tuhi: I should mention that we didn’t have so much ambitions when we started, it was more one step at a time. Yet since LIMA’s establishment, we discovered that in actuality, there are not a lot of organizations that do international work and training indigenous young people, there may only be us. [Laughs]
So there have been a lot of activity-based organizations, if they have related activities, seek us out. Now, apart from coming to the UN every year and activities aimed at training young people, within Taiwan we participate in work related to international issues. For example, Taiwan has already signed the two international Covenants (ICCPR and ICESCR), CEDAW, the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which have been legalized within Taiwan. The Country Reviews are important part of realizing those international treaties. And we take parts in the Review processes.
Photo credit: Enbion Micah Aan
We’ve participated in other policy initiatives as well. After some time, we gradually found our niche. Regarding activism, such as street protests, we also participate, but we focus more of our energy on policy initiatives. This is our future goal, to build connections between Taiwan and the world, and using international mechanisms to realize political initiatives.
Apart from that, we and other organizations have for a long time hoped to establish a multiethnic discussion forum in Taiwan. From 2007 to 2008, when we had just started to discuss establishing LIMA, this was our plan. Actually, all of our members have roots in our communities, because we later discovered that if we wanted to establish a successful youth forum, everyone needs to be prepared and understand the meaning in order to have a successful forum. However, this can’t only be symbolic in nature, in which everyone just meets to get together and take pictures. We hope our envisioned discussion is one that can influence the present policy and indigenous society at large, as well as influence the political environment of broader Taiwanese society.
So we currently try to gradually influence our communities, to see how we can train young people or make connections from our experience from the UN or in Taipei, to create a way for our communities to collectively participate. Perhaps after five years, we can establish this platform for discussion, and that what comes out of this discussion can be very representative, so that in the future in participating in the UN or international organizations, we can bring this out. This is our future aim.
We don’t rule out working with any organizations. For instance, the government’s Council of Indigenous Peoples has long been working on training young professionals in international affairs. We are often designated as instructors in those workshops, as well as designing their course syllabus. We also often serve as facilitators, to guide and facilitate discussions. In a way, we are influencing the government’s attitude towards international affairs. By participating in young professionals’ training courses, we are not only training the youth, but also try to make it more active, rather than staying within limited practical effects.
We hope that we can through different channels, allow more people to enter international work. It’s not only the UN, it’s not only by joining us that you can participate. We hope to share our experience and methods, to encourage people to find different ways to participate in international affairs.
Gasi: In the next five years, our goal also includes pushing for activities on college campuses. Including works with colleges in Taipei, Taichung, Tainan, and Taitung. Every year, after returning from the UN, we’d get requested to share our experience by many colleges. Our sharing doesn’t include just giving talks, but more like holding workshops, to allow students to understand the work we do. In the next five years, we hope to go to more places such as Tainan or Taichung, in the South. We’re more concentrated in the north and east currently. We hope that in the future, we’ll have workshops in the southern and central areas.
Photo credit: Enbion Micah Aan
We also have pretty big plans for the future, hope to be able to enter into the government and work inside the political system to create changes. We might work with those that hope to enter into the government in the future. People often ask us if we have interest in going towards the path of becoming legislators, or from a more grassroots level, being village representatives. We as young indigenous people dipping into international work have been seen as having political aims, or wanting to run for office. Since they already look at us this way, why not do it? In the future, LIMA as an organization might participate in politics, such as serving as politicians, to directly enter the political center to influence things.
New Bloom: After Tsai Ing-Wen became president, do you feel indigenous policies will change? What kind of reactions will LIMA have? Otherwise, regarding this past election, the New Power Party succeeded in entering the Legislative Yuan. You mentioned just now interest in entering the political system, regarding this side of things, how do you intend to bring about change? Under the new government, is there such possibility?
Eleng: We’re glad that Tsai Ing-Wen’s political views are that the government should make an apology to indigenous peoples, but we need to discuss in a more detailed manner, from the perspective of the indigenous peoples, what motivated her to make this apology? After she apologizes, what are the concrete actions which would follow? We still need to wait and see about policy, but at the very least there is a change in attitude, this is what we are glad to see. Going forward, transitional justice is one method and a type of process, the end goal she needs to meet is the restoration of indigenous sovereignty, land, resources, and the restoration and return of usage rights.
Transitional justice has to be directed towards the whole of society, not just as a matter between indigenous and the government, and is not just the settling of accounts, but the establishment and development of confronting the future, which requires looking back at the injuries and wrongdoings of the past, in order to repair relationships. Otherwise, indigenous peoples would be marginalized, we wouldn’t know why we have these rights and mainstream society would know even less.
It would seem like there are various unfathomable rights and when it comes to making policy proposals it would like this: “Isn’t it that indigenous peoples are already well-off? Why do we still need these things?”, “Don’t we already live the same life?” Asking about these things like “the same life,” what do we forget about behind this? How much have indigenous peoples been forced to give up their culture and lives? And has it ever occurred to the society that what indigenous peoples want? This is what society needs to know. Also, despite that the state machinery,and its large bureaucratic system, laws, and public servants, had had levied much injustice upon the indigenous peoples, the pitfall is that these injustices were not necessarily illegal. For example, regarding policies relocating villages in the name of safeguarding indigenous quality of life and safety, which force us to move to other places. Establishment of national parks are like this, too, saying that this for the sake of protecting natural resources, but this overlooks the relation between indigenous peoples and the lands and natural resources. Education policy is carried out like this as well.
All these policies were enforced legally, so you have to be careful that it’s not just the legality of an action,but there also has to be legitimacy and justice involved. Overall, under this system, for a long time now, the Indigenous Peoples Basic Law, there are indigenous legislators, there are Two Covenants, clauses have been added to the constitution, these systematic rules are there.
But in reality where rights are concerned, maybe only 60 percent of all the legislation is realized, and you can’t use law as a cure-all. It should start from social education. Education is the most fundamental part of this, although the time you spend on this may take longer, this is the most effective way of making changes. So this is what I want to share with everybody.
Photo credit: Enbion Micah Aan
New Bloom: In social activist circles, do you feel indigenous issues are marginalized? Recently, there are discussions of “Taiwanese independence” and “indigenous independence”, there are people who support Taiwanese independence but not indigenous independence. What are your views?
Tuhi: We always have interactions with mainstream society, although there might be varying degrees in our activities. In 1980, during the anti-child prostitution and human trafficking movements, we worked with many women’s rights and human rights groups. It was like that with the anti-dam movements as well, there was close cooperation. Recently, we have participated in discussions about amending the constitution. We hope we can participate in more different types of social movements, working with different human rights organizations. But this ebbs and flows, because we might not have total agreement with them regarding their attitudes or political stances, and this difference in attitude is a part of cooperation.
Regarding marginalization from the so-called mainstream, or the supposed division between what is not mainstream, indigenous society can sometimes be more conservative in views, and will worry about working together with other organizations. With respect to some events or actions, we might look more like we are by ourselves. But this is what this generation of young people have changed and we don’t reject working with the government or different organizations. But this doesn’t represent that we will always be good friends. From our own standpoint, we don’t feel we are marginalized, from another point of view, we can say that we sometimes hold back, are preparing ourselves and are waiting until we are strong enough to our personal goals in order to avoid being pulled along, and if this appears more passive, this is in order to achieve balance and equilibrium.
Sometimes we discover that other organizations are unable to find a proper approach to working with us, they don’t know who to speak to or how to get in touch with us. Recently, we’ve discovered this regarding two big issues: First, labor, regarding indigenous workers, labor organizations often want to find indigenous groups to work with. We have people doing this, but maybe they aren’t so active in finding other groups to work with yet. The other is regarding generational justice organizations, there are many organizations with collaborative platforms working on young people and children, but you’ll find the same situation with regard to making connections. So for LIMA, this is important work to be done in the future, how to connect with these organizations and find how to connect from the grassroots level.
Taiwanese independence and indigenous independence are not mutually exclusive, independence doesn’t necessarily mean absolute national boundaries. Sometimes we are too narrow-minded and emphasize realizing independence and establishing a country, but maybe we don’t have to establish a country, and it’s to see how we have realize independence in a manner which preserves our rights and to live the lives we want to live.
Photo credit: Enbion Micah Aan
What we are discussing is that indigenous sovereignty has never disappeared, but indigenous sovereignty doesn’t preclude Han people, and absolutely is not exclusive in nature. In the past, each community was a country, but this doesn’t mean killing off all others, of course it doesn’t mean war, it doesn’t mean the view of “We can’t live with other people.” There are intermarriages, for example.
At a conference a while ago, there was a non-indigenous attendee who told us that our persistent discussion on indigenous rights and independence made her feel hurt and bullied. She even asked whether indigenous independence mean that Taiwan’s non-indigenous people need to go jump into the sea? For us, this is a strange way of saying things, indigenous independence doesn’t mean we can’t have shared lives. What kind of equilibrium would this be? The current questions is, the relation between us and non-indigenous society or with non-indigenous government is unequal. So we need more dialogue and exchanges, and we are always working on this.
Gasi: Regarding this topic, it’s very much like in our culture what we discuss as the concept of a center and the periphery of a circle. The place of Taiwanese indigenous people in Taiwanese history, as an ethnic group the special characteristic is that indigenous independence is like the center of a circle. After all, in this country, in this island, we were the first people. In the process of history, overall, Taiwan has had many immigrants, which has enriched Taiwan’s history, like adding layers to this circle. A circle without a center of this circle has no way of constituting a whole, so indigenous independence should be able to work with Taiwanese independence.
Indigenous independence is the political stance of indigenous people, it’s not a form of independence to draw up divisive boundaries, and but is that in this country, indigenous peoples want to have their own land, their own knowledge and education systems, to preserve indigenous culture. How to have indigenous independence or Taiwanese independence or how to avoid being marginalized, we believe that this is because that there’s not sufficient understanding of another culture.
In the future, if Taiwan declares de jure independence it would be a nation that also includes indigenous people and new immigrants. Some people don’t support Taiwanese independence, much less indigenous independence. The way these Han people talking about it, for us the indigenous peoples, it already is that to support indigenous independence also means supporting Taiwanese independence. Indigenous independence is like what I said before, that we have to have our own land and knowledge system, to preserve our culture.
To give an example, during Typhoon Morakot in 2009, there was the policy decision to move indigenous peoples to a different location. When that policy decision was discussed and made, our mother tongue of Paiwan was used in the occasion, and other central government officials came, as did the county government and charitable organizations. In that situation, most people were indigenous people, so we used Paiwan to host the meeting. The Chinese language is the dominant cultural force in Taiwanese society, but we used Paiwan to host the meeting, to interpret this event. This reflected that our Paiwan peoples had our own consensus and discussions and decision-making mechanisms.
Photo credit: Enbion Micah Aan
Tuhi: Speaking of this example, what is important is that the center of the discussion was the Paiwan language used in our traditional domain in order to host the discussion. The substance of this was demonstrating sovereignty.
But as I also said just now, our sovereignty doesn’t need to be mutually exclusive, so because people from central government and regional government and charitable organization were present at the meeting, it was necessary allow everyone to understand this meeting and to express opinions, so we arranged for translation. The main language was Paiwan because this was our territory and this was in our hands. Again, our sovereignty has never disappeared, but we at the same time are very willing to have dialogue and exchanges.
To bring this example in relation to indigenous independence and Taiwanese independence, the center and layers of a circle are both necessary. When we express interest in having dialogues, it still remains to be seen whether the other side has enough good faith or confidence to engage with us. Why would they be afraid of us proposing sovereignty or indigenous independence? This is because we have very strong legitimacy, and a dialogue needs to be conducted on the basis of two sufficiently confident parties
New Bloom: There are many encroachments on indigenous land and hunting grounds, behind this are corporation and the motor of capitalism. In this respect, what kind of things do you to do resist this?
Eleng: Because I was working at the Legal Aid Foundation before, looking at this, currently indigenous citizens have begun to use legal channels to maintain and protect their rights. Of course, this includes policy proposals, legislation, and social movements, as well as gathering different people to assist, such as academics.
Tuhi: Apart from the street protests that everyone knows about and policy proposals, there is another essential aspect, which is civil disobedience. For example, Lanyu has 99.4% publicly owned land, but in actuality this land is being privately used, so why is there 99.4% publicly owned land? That’s because the past, the government’s request to Lanyu’s indigenous residents to register land was violating traditional use, values, and disrupted their culture. So they selected a method of civil disobedience, which was not to register their land, although these were the rules of the game, they selected to not follow the rules of the game. 
Although this was a passive form of action, this was a way of asserting their sovereignty. Apart from that, in March I went to Jianshi Township in Hsinchu to do conduct featured stories, the topic was agriculture. Global capitalism invades traditional communities or international communities, going through food, going through rice, foodstuff, and crop planting. In Jianshi, we can see that they grew cash crops to allow for having enough income. At the same time, they also planted using traditional indigenous methods. They continued to plant traditional crops and used traditional means, for example, planting different types of crops in the same field, treating the land and crops with traditional Atayal methods.
This is also a way of resisting capitalism and the means of colonialism. But this doesn’t represent total rejection of it, they will also pick out the good aspects. There’s a saying I like: If today a society, a peoples, a community’s cultural roots are very strong and tenacious, they will pick the good aspects of other cultures, to allow their own culture to become even stronger. This is what Taiwanese indigenous peoples are always doing.
Photo credit: Enbion Micah Aan
New Bloom: Lastly, what would you have to say to not only Taiwanese readers, but international readers?
Eleng: The strength of young people is very important, young people bring new elements to a society as a new stimulating force. I believe that the view of young people is not insignificant. But sometimes young people believe that their ability is not enough, that has to wait to grow up. This is setting an unnecessary limit for oneself. I want to say to the young people reading this interview, the strength of young people is very important and change many things. And I also want to say to everyone, we respect our elders, but we can also share and exchange our views.
An important motivation for doing these things is the support of family members. Because in the beginning, they didn’t understand what we were doing, or even opposed what we were doing. Opposing the government appeared to them to be very extreme, they would say that politics is very complicated and that it was best not to get involved in politics. Later they gradually came to understand, sharing their views, you would come to understand their generation had their environment and background, and you would eventually gain their support, which can become a source of strength.
Gasi: I feel doing these things is what is most lonely. For example, when considering what a neighborhood should look like, you’ll discover the people who share our views is in the small minority. Although there are many talented people in schools, very few of them end up returning to their communities.
I want to say to readers in Taiwan or the world that if by your side there is a group of friends dedicating themselves for social movements, you should care of them because this work could often be demoralizing. There are a lot of negative views, and facing them may make you feel that it would be best to just go home. You have to believe in your intuition, to believe what you are doing is right, that this is what you should persevere in, much less finding partners who share your views. If you’re not doing this, you should care about your group of friends, to not let them feel solitary.
Tuhi: A lot of the things we do aren’t “flat.” For example, social movements, indigenous rights movement, or etc., we do many different kinds of work to change society. Therefore, when we talk about social justice movements,, it doesn’t have to only imply activities in the streets. A lot of things we do are for the same goals, and we shouldn’t be bound to a narrow conception of what is a “movement”, as though demonstrating in the streets is the only type of movement. If today, writing news reports and commentary draws attention and discussion, then that could be considered a social movement as well.
Everyone should conceptualize it in a “three-dimensional” way and not limit ourselves in the view of what a movement is. Otherwise, I want to tell this generation of young people, life is political, two people coexisting is the start of politics. So don’t believe that concerning one’s self with social issues is just a sort of fashion or that one shouldn’t touch politics, or that politics is filthy. Sometimes we encounter many people who believe that participating in social movement is just some kind of fashion, but when it comes to discussing politics say they won’t do so. Actually, this is the same thing, don’t be afraid of politics, our life encounters politics everywhere, even living with your parents is a form of politics.
We touched on self-confidence earlier, what we really lack is self-confidence, we’re too afraid of being wrong, of saying the wrong things with others. This kind of fear prevents progress and makes us fear following politics. But there’s nothing to be afraid of, at most you might be laughed at or not succeed, so what’s to be afraid of? If you’re at a loss, look back, remember that this is just one direction that could have been taken, or just take a break for awhile.
Veneng: In engaging with social movements or this kind of topic, or when you’re in the situation of being a minority, first find yourself, come to know yourself, find the legitimacy of those doing this. Then you can do the right thing and not be afraid of what others say about you.
Ljius: I want to say to both indigenous and non-indigenous in Taiwan: Currently the problem of urbanization is becoming more and more severe, everyone goes to the city and works, those that stay in their hometowns are grandparents or kids, which leads to a severe generational divide. I hope everyone can return to their community to pay attention to their surroundings, only with this can one establish one’s personal identity.
 For further reading, please see: 〈達悟族看自己的家：為什麼沒登記，土地就是國家的？〉
Brian Hioe was one of the founding editors of New Bloom, a freelance writer on social movements and politics, and an occasional translator. A New York native and Taiwanese-American, he has an MA in East Asian Languages and Cultures from Columbia University and graduated from New York University with majors in History, East Asian Studies, and English Literature.
Parson Young studied in New York University for his masters in Political Science. He is a member of the US branch of the International Marxist Tendency, as well as an English editor for New Bloom. His academic interest turned from African (especially East African) International Political Economy into Marxism.