Sun, Oct 27, 2019 - Page 3 News List

Camp teaches Aboriginal history to rectify injustice

By Weng Yu-huang  /  Staff reporter

Transitional Justice Commission Acting Chairwoman Yang Tsui speaks in New Taipei City’s Sansia District on Friday at the opening of a three-day camp to train Aborigines to research their communities’ histories and territories.

Photo provided by the Transitional Justice Commission

The issue of returning land that historically belonged to Aborigines is one that is likely to spark tension between them and the government, and is best approached by establishing historical facts, Council of Indigenous Peoples Vice Chairman Pasuya Poitsonu (浦忠成) said yesterday.

Poitsonu made the remarks at a three-day camp that began yesterday in New Taipei City’s Sansia District (三峽). It was hosted by the council and the National Academy for Educational Research to train people to research Aboriginal history.

Poitsonu and Transitional Justice Commission Acting Chairwoman Yang Tsui (楊翠) signed a “fostering talent in Aboriginal villages” agreement, which aims to guide Aborigines in the task of restoring historical facts.

The two agencies agreed to train members of Aboriginal communities so that they can establish historical facts, assist communities in researching and reviewing traditional Aboriginal territories, and host forums to share findings.

Researching Aboriginal land is a lengthy task, as large amounts of data must be sifted through to find useful pieces of information, Yang said, comparing the task to crumpled pieces of paper that must be ironed out to extract the information on them.

Hopefully, through the talent fostering program, more Aborigines would return to their communities to tell their own stories, she said.

The Transitional Justice Commission’s role in realizing Aboriginal transitional justice is to compile a list of Aborigines who were persecuted in the White Terror era so that the injustices perpetrated against them can be redressed through legal channels, Yang said.

She encouraged young Aborigines to return to their communities to talk with elders and learn their history, saying that transitional justice is as much the public’s task as it is the government’s.

The researching of Aboriginal territories is crucial, as they are where languages and cultures originated, Poitsonu added.

Fifty people attended the camp.

Participants included people of Han ethnicity, people from plains communities, as well as 46 people hailing from the 16 Aboriginal communities recognized by the government, the council said.

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