The biennial International Indigenous Research Conference （IIRC） and Ka Haka 2018 was held by Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga, New Zealand’s Māori Centre for Research Excellence （NPM / NZMCRE）, in mid-November. Indigenous researchers from all parts of the world attended and shared their fruitful research and knowledge. Dr. Jolan Hsieh （Bavaragh Dagalomai / 謝若蘭）, the Director of the Center for International Indigenous Affairs （CIIA） and Ph.D. Students in the Department of Ethnic Relations and Cultures were cordially invited to present papers at the conference.
Dr. Jolan Hsieh, Pasu’e Yasiungu Ne Niayoeova （安梓濱）, Sifo Lakaw （鍾文觀）, and Dr. Hsiang-I Teng （鄧湘漪） delivered their research results at the IIRC in a panel entitled Synergies between Taiwan and Aotearoa: Indigenous Cultures in Reconciliation, Social Work, Education, and Health. In addition, in another panel on Identity, Memory, and Legacy: Taiwan Indigenous Dance, Music and Ritual Culture, Kacaw Fuyan （章俊博）, Dumai Bomok（高志遠）, Pasu’e Yasiungu Ne Niayoeova, and Dr. Jolan Hsieh made joint presentations whereby the team members explored and reviewed the historical and cultural contexts surrounding the identity, ethnic memory, and cultural assets of Taiwan’s indigenous peoples. The panel is especial arranged as part of Auckland University of Technology （AUT） Ka Haka 2018 conference.
The group also visited Taupō, Tongariro, and Gisbornea to learn about the cultural relations between the Māori and Pacific Islanders after the IIRC concluded. Sifo Lakaw stressed that Māori people believe that only by using the Māori language is it possible to pass down the essence of Māori knowledge, culture, and core values. Besides learning about Māori culture and knowledge, the group also visited Te Kura Kaupapa Māori O Nga Uri A Maui （an immersion school in Gisborne） and exchanged indigenous teaching experiences with students in a place in which Māori pedagogy encompasses preliminary to tertiary education and is parallel to the mainstream educational system. The visit prompted doctoral student Pasu’e Yasiungu Ne Niayoeova to remark, “Taiwan indigenous peoples should be fully aware of the hegemony we have suffered and apply ourselves to cultural revitalization”.
The presentations given at the IIRC and the cultural exchange with the Maori community enhanced the group members’ international perspectives. The NDHU team’s efforts and contributions also recognized and highlighted the Taiwanese view of international indigenous knowledge systems.
News source: National Dong Hwa University