A group of Aboriginal people who reside mainly in the border area between Hualien and Nantou counties were recognized yesterday as the Sediq, the country’s 14th distinct indigenous group.
At its regular weekly meeting, the Cabinet approved a proposal by the Council of Indigenous People to classify the Sediq as a separate group from the Atayal tribe.
Premier Chang Chun-hsiung (張俊雄) said that the approval was based on the spirit of “respecting the will of native people” and in accordance with the principle of “equality” enshrined in laws and regulations to guide the government’s Aboriginal policies.
“On behalf of the government, I hereby send my sincerest congratulations to the Sediq people on the restoration of their own tribe name,” Chang said.
Minister of the Council of Indigenous People Icyang Parod said the move would help the Sediq to “raise their self-identification and safeguard the tribe’s cultural heritage.”
The Sediq will have their own representatives on the council’s highest policy-making commission, Icyang said.
The council said there are about 6,000 to 7,000 Sediq.
The Japanese colonial government arbitrarily lumped together Aboriginal groups into “nine tribes” during its occupation of Taiwan, under which Taroko, Sediq and other groups were labeled as Sediq, a subgroup of the Atayal tribe.
The classification system was not challenged until the Democratic Progressive Party government came to power in 2000. It recognized the Tsao as the 10th tribe in 2001, followed by the recognition of the Kavalan, Taroko and the Sakizaya.
Ever since the recognition of the Taroko in January 2004, several negotiations had been held on whether the Sediq would agree to also use the name Taroko. But the discussions proved fruitless, as “both groups had been inconsistent on their specific names,” Icyang said.
The Sediq tribe filed an application with the council for recognition in April 2006.
The Cabinet decided to approve the recognition of the Sediq after a review committee under the direction of Minister-without-Portfolio Liu Yu-shan (劉玉山) concluded that the Sediq’s demand should be respected in accordance with the UN Declaration of Aboriginal Rights, Article 10 of the amendment to the Constitution and the Aboriginal Basic Law (原住民族基本法).
Wantan Diro, executive director of the Sediq Tribe Name Restoration Association, was excited yesterday by the Cabinet’s decision.
“Hallelujah! Thank God!” Watan said when asked by the Taipei Times for comment by telephone.
“I would like to thank Premier Chang for his decisiveness, the Council of Indigenous Peoples, the seven Aboriginal legislators and all the media organizations that have reported on our efforts [to gain recognition],” he said.
Wantan said that official recognition is not the end, but the beginning of another page in the tribe’s history.
“We will need to start organizing our tribal assembly, preparing for autonomy, building a tribal identity, and most importantly — revive, preserve and reform the Sediq language, culture, customs, sciences and education,” he said.
Wantan said that though several tribes have received official recognition in recent years, their people still do not feel attached to their new tribal identity.
“So we’re planning on a campaign with the goal to get at least 10,000 Sediqs to register themselves as Sediqs with the Household Registration Offices,” he said.
As for culture, Watan believed that, in addition to reviving and preserving the wisdom of the tribe’s ancestors, “we need to also reform some of it according to new technical or scientific developments and findings, so that our ancient knowledge won’t become outdated.”
Taiwan might be China’s next target after it has “walled off” Hong Kong from the rest of the world with its new national security legislation, Academia Sinica Institute of Sociology fellow Wu Jieh-min (吳介民) said on Thursday. At a seminar organized by the Economic Democracy Union, the Taiwan Association for Human Rights, the Hong Kong Outlanders and the Judicial Reform Foundation, Wu said that the legislation is simultaneously a fig leaf concealing Beijing’s autocratic rule in Hong Kong and a figurative “Berlin Wall,” denying democratic countries access to Hong Kong. Wu said it is evident that Taiwan would be China’s next target. The
SAFETY CONCERNS: A construction company working nearby admitted to negligence in the incident, and is to pay a fine and other expenses related to damages Residents of homes adjacent to an alleyway in New Taipei City’s Yonghe District (永和) on Saturday were forced to evacuate their homes after the road collapsed, the New Taipei City government said yesterday. An 80m by 4m area in an alleyway on Wenhua Road (文化路) collapsed at 10:39am near an apartment building construction site where work was being done on the project’s foundation. The incident also ruptured an underground gas pipe and tilted several buildings in the area. Residents would not be able to return to their homes until tomorrow or Wednesday, when repairs are expected to be finished, the city government said. Workers
YOUNGEST PATIENT: Cases of botulism have been only sporadically reported over the past few years, with two in 2015, six in 2016 and none in the past three years The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) yesterday reported the nation’s first case of infant botulism this year, a four-month-old boy in northern Taiwan, as well as five new cases of Japanese encephalitis confirmed last week. The boy was introduced to homemade solid food in the middle of last month, but began to experience constipation and loss of appetite on June 23, CDC Epidemic Intelligence Center Deputy Director Guo Hung-wei (郭宏偉) said, adding that he was taken to the hospital when he developed a fever and shortness of breath on June 25. In the hospital, the boy also experienced a rapid heartbeat, limb
CHALLENGER DEEP: Lin Ying-Tsong was invited by Caladan Oceanic founder Victor Vescovo to join him on a 10-hour long trip in the company’s submersible Taiwanese-American Lin Ying-Tsong (林穎聰) last month became the first person from Asia and the 12th in human history to dive into the deepest part on Earth, the Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench. Lin, 45, an expert in deep sea acoustics with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) in Massachusetts, joined US adventurer and Caladan Oceanic founder Victor Vescovo, 54, on June 22 in a descent to the central pool of the Challenger Deep, the deepest point of the trench, which lies at a depth of more than 10,900m. The pair made the descent in a submersible named Limiting Factor, a US$37