The annual International Austronesian Conference started yesterday in Taipei with the aim of promoting international Austronesian exchanges and enhancing the global visibility of Taiwan’s Aborigines.
During the two-day conference, academics and experts from Taiwan, New Zealand, the US, Canada and other countries are set to speak about the applications, teaching methods and future prospects of Aboriginal education.
“We hope the conference will help raise the international visibility of Taiwanese Aborigines,” Council of Indigenous Peoples Minister Mayaw Dongi (林江義) said at the opening ceremony.
He added that he hopes the conference will also help support his council’s effort to push for more village schools to help recover the traditional cultures of Aborigines.
The Maori education system in New Zealand, for example, could serve as a model for the schools in Taiwan, the council said in a statement.
President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) said it is “significant” that the conference is being held in Taiwan, the place that many academics believe is the origin of the Austronesian people.