Council of Indigenous Peoples Deputy Minister Iwan Nawi yesterday said the council has completed a draft Aboriginal land and seas bill that is to be sent to the Presidential Office.
Nawi said she hopes the Presidential Office’s Indigenous Historical Justice and Transitional Justice Committee can deliberate on the bill as soon as possible so that it can be sent to the Executive Yuan.
The council on Feb. 14 announced guidelines on the delineation of Aboriginal territories that would restrict the application of the “traditional area” label to government-owned land, explicitly excluding private land.
Aboriginal rights activists, opposed to the delineation, have been camped out on Ketagalan Boulevard in Taipei for the past 97 days.
A large amount of Aboriginal territory has been privatized and the exclusion would deprive Aborigines of the right to participate in the development of traditional territories that were seized and privatized by the Japanese and the Republic of China (ROC) government, the protesters have said.
The group yesterday told reporters that “traditional [Aboriginal] land should not be classified as private or public.”
Writer Chen Fang-ming (陳芳明) joined the group in criticizing President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) administration.
“This government always emphasizes that it is the administration most open to dialogue, but communication is always so distant,” Chen said.
Nawi visited the protesters yesterday to engage in dialogue, but they failed to reach a consensus.
Documentary filmmaker Mayaw Biho, demanded clarification of the government’s delineation of traditional Aboriginal land along the lines of “private” and “public,” arguing that traditional land could not be classified in such a manner.
The classification of Aboriginal land as “private” is an attempt by the government to use civil law to deal with what should be an Aboriginal transitional justice issue, he said.
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