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.”
Proposed legislation in the US outlines three conditions in which Washington would be authorized to protect Taiwan were China to invade, a report said yesterday. US Representative Ted Yoho this month said he would introduce a Taiwan Invasion Prevention Act, which would authorize US military force if China were to invade Taiwan-controlled areas, including its outlying islands. According to a version of the bill obtained by the Chinese-language Liberty Times (the sister paper of the Taipei Times), the bill lists three conditions in which a US president would be authorized to use military force to protect Taiwan: If China uses military force
The Supreme Court on Tuesday found four men guilty of attempted murder in the 2017 stabbing of Spanish surfer Ignacio Prio on a Pingtung County beach in the final ruling in the case, sentencing them to three-and-a-half to six years in prison. The defendants had appealed their convictions for attempted murder in the first and second rulings, which had also led to prison sentences ranging from three-and-a-half years to six years. The then-42-year-old Prio went to Jialeshui Beach (佳樂水) near Kenting (墾丁) on March 31, 2017, was attacked after he asked four men to remove their fishing lines from an area
Two new commuter trains are scheduled to be launched in January next year, the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) said yesterday. The acquisition of EMU-900 commuter train cars is part of the railway operator’s plan to replace 589 train cars that have been in operation for more than three decades. The agency has also placed orders to buy 600 intercity train cars. The first batch of 20 EMU-900 cars is to be delivered to the nation in September, although delivery might be delayed until October due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the agency said. The batch would be formed into two trains of 10
‘IMMORAL, INSINCERE’: Huang Kun-huei said that Ma was ‘distorting history’ in claiming that Lee Teng-hui laid the foundation for the so-called ‘1992 consensus’ Former Presidential Office secretary-general Huang Kun-huei (黃昆輝) on Saturday rejected former president Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) claim that former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) had been a proponent of Beijing’s “one China” principle. Lee, who served as president from 1988 to 2000, died in Taipei on Thursday last week. After visiting the Taipei Guest House on Saturday to pay his respects to Lee, Ma posted on Facebook that “28 years ago on this day” Lee hosted a session of the now-defunct National Unification Council, during which he passed a resolution on the “one China” principle. That resolution became the basis of the Chinese Nationalist Party’s