The Center for International Indigenous Affairs （CIIA） of National Dong Hwa University （NDHU） received the guests from Aotearoa New Zealand on April 20 to 22: Hon. Te Ururoa Flavell, the Chief Executive Officer of Te Wānanga o Aotearoa; Eddie Walker, the liaison to the Taiwan-Aotearoa Connection; and Basil Tapuke, the General Manager Trusts for Te Tumu Paeroa. With the visits to indigenous communities and meetings with related organizations and institutions, the friendship between Taiwan and Aotearoa New Zealand has been established more firmly.
The reception was specially organized by the CIIA in partnership with the Subcommittee on Reconciliation of the Taiwan Presidential Office Indigenous Historical Justice and Transitional Justice Committee （”the Indigenous Transitional Justice Committee”） so as to attain the objective of the establishment of the College of Indigenous Studies （CIS） at NDHU and to reflect the global horizon for indigenous transitional justice. The guests were also invited to visit Puyuma-Sakuban tribal community and Amis-Atolan tribal community to experience Taiwan’s indigenous cultural traditions and exchange issues concerning the challenges in the revitalization of indigenous languages, lands, and cultural traditions. During the visit to the Monument of the Truku Battles at Truku-Bsngan tribal community , Teyra Yudaw, the Truku member of the Indigenous Transitional Justice Committee, particularly explained to the guests the concept of “The Land as Blood, Mountain Forests as Home,” a Truku belief that only those who care about and protect the land are qualified to meet the ancestral spirits on hakaw utux, or the Bridge of Rainbow.
CEO Te Ururoa Flavell, a former member of Aotearoa New Zealand Parliament for 12 years and Maori Development Minister, mentioned that it took almost 25 years through numerous street protests to build up the Maori subjectivity and rights in Aotearoa New Zealand. He encouraged the indigenous peoples in Taiwan, “During protests, you may feel lonely and frustrated and even face oppression by the political authorities. But for the future of society as a whole, we should keep fighting.” Tapuke shared the “sharing and joint management” of the Maori lands put into trust after the land restoration. He also revealed that he brought along his three daughters growing up under an immersive learning environment of te reo Māori （the Maori language） this time to help them learn more about indigenous worldviews and broaden their global horizons.
In addition to indigenous tribal tours, all the guests also visited the National Museum of Prehistory, the Council of Indigenous Peoples （CIP）, and the Indigenous Peoples Cultural Foundation （IPCF）. The Minister of the CIP Icyang．Parod pointed out that the active mutual visits between indigenous peoples of Taiwan and New Zealand recently showed the deep relationships between Taiwan and Austronesian peoples. The Director of the New Zealand Commerce and Industry Office, Moira Turley also specially visited the CIP to add that there have been more and more substantial exchanges since the signing of Agreement between the Separate Customs Territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen, and Matsu, and New Zealand on Economic Cooperation （ANZTEC） with a particular chapter （Chapter 19） devoted to indigenous peoples in partnership between Aotearoa New Zealand and Taiwan. When visiting the IPCF, the guests were received by the IPCF administration team led by the Chairperson and the CEO to participate in bilateral experience sharing and cordially invited by Alian Radio to record a jingle for the station. The guests from Aotearoa New Zealand mentioned that there are many public Maori media in their country, but an integrated mode of indigenous media in culture, television, and radio by the IPCF in Taiwan would be a good example for Aotearoa New Zealand.
The Taiwan-Aotearoa Connection Project run by the CIIA Director Bavaragh Dagalomai （Jolan Hsieh, 謝若蘭） has formed substantial bilateral ties between the two sides. The Dean of the NDHU College of Indigenous Studies, Pasuya ‘e Poiconʉ （浦忠成）, who joined the inauguration of CEO Flavell last year, also suggested that Taiwan and Aotearoa New Zealand should continue deepening further interactions. To organize this visit of CEO Flavell, the CIIA particularly invited and sought assistance from Eddie Walker, the liaison to the Taiwan-Aotearoa Connection in New Zealand, not only to accompany CEO Flavell but also to give talks at NDHU during his staying in Taiwan for one more week so as to provide professional consultations on the coming World Indigenous Nations Higher Education Consortium at NDHU in July 2019 and the cross-school teachers’ professional learning communities.
Full Context：National Dong Hwa University