“Taiwan-Aotearoa, New Zealand Connection” Workshop
The Center of International Indigenous Affairs (CIIA) held the “Taiwan-Aotearoa, New Zealand Connection” Workshop on Nov. 24th at the College of Indigenous Studies (CIS), NDHU. The workshop, hosted by Professor Pasuya Poiconx (浦忠成), Dean of CIS, was an occasion to showcase the fruitful results of the ‘Taiwan-Aotearoa Connection： South-bound Indigenous Education’ project.
The workshop opened with Professor Jolan Hsieh (謝若蘭 / Bavaragh Dagalomai), Director of CIIA, giving an overview of the project followed by individual team member’s presentation on their own experiences with Māori education and reflections of Taiwan’s indigenous education during their recent visit to New Zealand. Each member presented through their own lens of expertise/interest, be it language revitalization, anthropology, communications, performance arts or social work, but all pointing to the dedicated endeavor through which Māori education finds success and the devotion of the people. Sifo Lakaw (鍾文觀), CEO of Hualien Indigenous Community College and PhD student in the Department of Ethnic Relations and Cultures, said： ‘In thriving towards world-class indigenous education, Māori education does not posit Māori culture in the distant past, rather, as something innovative and adapting to contemporary circumstance.’
The second half of the workshop began with Dr. Peter Mataira sharing his thoughts on Māori and indigenous education and concluded with an open discussion, hosted by the Dean, with the team and the audience members. Dr. Mataira is Māori and currently teaches social work at the Pacific Hawaii University. He spoke of his own experiences growing up in a small town in New Zealand and the challenges he faced trying to negotiate the reality of his community and knowledge of his profession. As someone involved in the establishment of the indigenous university in Hawaii, he concluded his talk with two encouraging words： resilience and confidence. Life is full of struggles and one must be resilient to change and find confidence through knowing who you are.
The workshop ended with participants engaging in enthusiastic discussions over an indigenous style lunch. Associate Professor Apay Ai-yu Tang (湯愛玉) from the Department of Indigenous Language and Communication discussed Māori language teacher training with the team; Ms Hung-Yi Lin (林紘億), staff from the Office of International Affair at National Taiwan University and Assistant Professor Hung-yu Ru (日宏煜 / Umin．Itei) from Taipei Medical University spoke with Professor Hsieh on issues of international educational collaboration and exchange. Professor Hsieh stated： ‘The primary purpose of this workshop is to promote participation and generate support to build international indigenous connections.’
News source: National Dong Hwa University