A law guaranteeing the autonomy of the nation's indigenous peoples was passed by the legislature yesterday, in a move that Aboriginal legislators hailed as ground-breaking.
"A historic moment for Aborigines occurred at 11:59 am [yesterday]," said independent Aboriginal legislator May Chin (
The basic law, which has been over 10 years in the making, guarantees that government support and resources will be given to the development of a self-governing system for the nation's indigenous people. It stipulates that the government will create agencies for Aboriginal language research and cultural promotion through media channels, and that it will give preference to Aboriginal land names.
Furthermore, the law provides for the inclusion of a special chapter regarding Aboriginal rights in any national declaration of rights. Other articles protect Aboriginal land and cultural rights.
The passage of the law, with its provision for Aboriginal autonomy, has long been a goal of Aboriginal groups and lawmakers.
"The Aboriginal Basic Law is a delayed law, but it is also to be the source of Aboriginal rights," said Aboriginal lawmaker Yang Jen-fu (
"The passage of the Aboriginal Basic Law not only gives the future of the Aboriginal people clear and secure direction, but it is also an important milestone in the development of Aboriginal culture," said fellow indigenous lawmaker Tseng Hua-teh (曾華德) yesterday."I hope that the government will do its best to fulfill all of its stipulations."