Indigenous

Regional Forums Discuss Mixed Indigenous Identity and Legal Recognition in Taiwan

This past Friday in Pingtung City, the Mixed Indigenous Youth Forum Working Group (MIYF) held its fifth and final regional forum on the life experiences of Indigenous youth from mixed backgrounds. Combined with the other regional forums held in Taichung, Taipei, Taitung, and Hualien, MIYF discussed and recorded over 50 participants’ life stories pertaining to their Indigenous identity journey and variable engagements with Indigenous legal status...

Mixed Background Indigenous Peoples and Their Struggle for Legal Reform

In 2017, Nikal Kabala’an, an Amis woman, carried her first newborn daughter to the Taipei City Da’an District Household Registration Office to register her baby’s birth. Nikal and her husband, who is Han, decided to register their child under Nikal’s husband’s Mandarin surname with the intention of simultaneously registering a traditional Amis name to continue her Indigenous heritage into the next generation. However, she was informed at the Household Registration Office that she could not register her child under her husband’s surname and a traditional Amis name, and thus had to choose only one...

Taipower and Atomic Energy Council Clash Over Orchid Island Ruling

Taipower, Taiwan's state-run energy utility, won out in a recent ruling by the Supreme Administrative Court that exempted it from needing to pay 30 million NT for failing to remove low-level nuclear waste from Orchid Island. Low-level nuclear waste refers to items that have become contaminated with radioactive material or become radioactive through exposure, as distinguished from intermediate-level nuclear waste, high-level nuclear waste, spent fuel rods, or other nuclear waste materials...

Constitutional Court to Make Decision on Pingpu Recognition

Recent comments by Icyang Parod, the head of the Council of Indigenous Peoples, took a stance against legally recognizing Pingpu peoples currently seeking recognition as Indigenous. The comments took place in the context of a hearing by the Constitutional Court to hear arguments on the recognition of the Siraya people, which took place on Tuesday. The hearing involved the Constitutional Court hearing arguments from the Council of Indigenous Peoples, the Tainan city government, and the National Human Rights Commission, which is part of the Control Yuan. The Constitutional Court will make an announcement of its date to publicize its decision on the issue one month from now...

Presidential Office Criticized Over New Year’s Performance by Indigenous Groups

Indigenous groups have been critical after a performance held by the Presidential Office as part of new year’s celebrations. In particular, the performance featured five performers that were supposedly dressed as Amis Indigenous, singing traditional songs. Nevertheless, Indigenous groups such as the Indigenous Youth Front have criticized this performance as an act of cultural appropriation, seeing as the clothing worn by the performers was not authentic to cultural customs, appeared to be cheaply rented costumes, and the songs performed fit Han stereotypes regarding Indigenous traditional music...

Protests Continue Against Zhiben Solar Farm on Katratripulr Land in August and September

Protests regarding the Zhiben photovoltaic farm took place again late last month, with demonstrations against a government survey of the land that the farm is planned to be built on. These protests were not widely reported on, however, probably due to the fact that they took place in Taitung. Protests that take place outside of Taipei sometimes fail to receive coverage, with much of the media industry based in Taipei, and because Taiwan is small enough that protesters can frequently travel to Taipei to protest even for local issues. This has not been helped by COVID-related stories still continuing to take up a large part of the news cycle...

Asia Cement Ruling Likely to Be Resisted by the Company, with the Backing of the Ministry of Economic Affairs

The Supreme Administrative Court ruled against extending the mining rights of Asia Cement’s mine on Truku Indigenous land on Thursday, dismissing an appeal filed by Asia Cement. The decision has been seen by some as a victory in the struggle against the mine. The Hualien city council had previously levied an ore tax of 70 NT per metric ton on the mine and rejected the extension. A lower court had previously also found Asia Cement’s actions to be in violation of the Indigenous Basic Law....