November 16, 2017
INM Solidarity statement
For immediate release
Idle No More stands in solidarity with Indigenous Taiwanese who are currently occupying the 228 Peace Memorial Park/台北市二二八和平紀念公園. This current occupation has been for more than 260 days. INM calls for the Canadian government to impose immediate trade restrictions on Taiwan.
Indigenous people have lived in Taiwan for at least 6,000 years. The languages they speak belong to the Austronesian language family. From Taiwan, people speaking Austronesian languages moved into the Pacific, settling islands from the Philippines to Indonesia, all the way from Hawaii and Easter Island to New Zealand and even Madagascar.
Since the arrival of the first colonial settlers in Taiwan 400 years ago, tribal land has been shrinking with colonial regimes that include Dutch, Spanish, Japanese, and Han Chinese. Most tribal land is now government-owned, and some become privately-owned, by descendants of Han settlers. President Tsai Ing-wen apologized to the Indigenous peoples (August 1, 2016) and promised to designate indigenous traditional territory. According to a survey completed in 2007 by the Council of Indigenous Peoples (CIP) under the Executive Yuan, indigenous traditional territory was around 1.8 million hectares of land. However, CIP as President Tsai’s administration proclaimed on February 14, 2017 ‘‘The Regulations for Demarcating Indigenous Traditional Territories," which drastically reduces indigenous traditional territory from 1.8 million hectares to 0.8 million hectares by excluding privately-owned land.
On February 23, 2017, Indigenous peoples, led by Mayaw Biho, Panai Kusui, and Napu Husungan Istanda, began a protest on Ketagalan Blvd, 400 meters from the President’s Office, calling on President Tsai to honor her promises, and amend the regulations. President Tsai refused to acknowledge their existence, so the protest became a peaceful camp-in teach-in, under the hashtag #沒有人是局外人 (“No one is outsider”). The protest continues, going on nine months, and greatly needs your concern and support.
For more info:
Media contact person:
Mayaw Biho +886(0)975 096 221 (Taiwan)|+1 646 327 4025 (US)