Indigenous research and social development among the Austronesian-speaking peoples of Taiwan

Thursday, 23 March 2017
Prof Hung-Yu Ru
Dr Shu-Yuan Yang
Dr Shu-Ling Yeh
Prof Su-Mei Lo
Dr Da-Wei Kuan

There are sixteen officially recognised aboriginal groups in Taiwan, making up about 2% of the total population, a proportion similar to that of Australia. Over the last 30 years, the government policy has gradually shifted from assimilation to multiculturalism and self-determination. In August 2016, Taiwanese President offered the first-ever apology to indigenous peoples. In these pertinent historical and political contexts, this panel exemplifies indigenous research efforts and shows how research advises policy and practice around indigenous development. Hung-Yu Ru looks for applicable strategies to improve the quality of an indigenous health promotion project by adapting the approach of formative research. Da-Wei Kuan reviews the indigenous territorial survey in Taiwan since 2002 and reveals its social-political conflicts. Shu-Yuan Yang examines how state appropriation of indigenous culture has important bearings on the ways in which tradition is reconstructed in the present among the Bunun by analysing their signature ritual. Su-Mei Lo presents the process and the collaborative ethnography of how the Museum of Anthropology in National Taiwan University and the Indigenous Amis Community composed together an Exhibition. Shu-Ling Yeh explores how the Amis use their Christian practices to engage the individualism of modernity and continue land and kin-based moralities.