Aborigine advocates quarrel over law

MORE THAN AN IDENTITYYounger campaigners say that the Status Act amendments do not go far enough, but older advocates say this opportunity should not be squandered

Taipei Times
Date: Jun 18, 2017
By: Abraham Gerber / Staff reporter

Younger Aboriginal rights protesters yesterday argued with government officials and older campaigners over how to grant official recognition to Pingpu Aborigines at the final Council of Indigenous Peoples consultative forum.

“Pingpu” is a general term used for Aborigines originally living in lowland areas and who were considered more “assimilated” than Aborigines who lived in mountainous areas or the east coast during Japanese colonial rule.

Yesterday’s forum at the New Taipei City Hall for residents of several northern localities was attended by a handful of younger rights advocates from central and southern regions, who expressed opposition to the council’s proposal to amend the Status Act For Indigenous Peoples (原住民身份法) to include a separate entry for members of “plains tribes” instead of including them under the umbrella of “lowland” tribes.

“There can be a buffer period before we receive full rights, but our hope is that we are given recognition as ‘lowland’ Aborigines rather than grouped as ‘plains,’” said Hsu Ming-chun (徐銘駿), a Kaohsiung member of the plains Taivoan people. “The rights of Pingpu should be clearly outlined, rather than simply passing an amendment which only recognizes our identity.”    [FULL  STORY]

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