1st Edition

Indigenous Reconciliation in Contemporary Taiwan From Stigma to Hope

Edited By Scott E. Simon, Jolan Hsieh, Peter Kang Copyright 2023
    282 Pages 12 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    282 Pages 12 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book draws attention to the issues of Indigenous justice and reconciliation in Taiwan, exploring how Indigenous actors affirm their rights through explicitly political and legal strategies, but also through subtle forms of justice work in films, language instruction, museums, and handicraft production.

    Taiwan’s Indigenous peoples have been colonized by successive external regimes, mobilized into war for Imperial Japan, stigmatized as primitive “mountain compatriots” in need of modernization, and instrumentalized as proof of Taiwan’s unique identity vis-à-vis China. Taiwan’s government now encapsulates them in democratic institutions of indigeneity. This volume emphasizes that there is new hope for real justice in an era in which states and Indigenous peoples seek meaningful forms of reconciliation at all levels and arenas of social life. The chapters, written by leading Indigenous, Taiwanese, and international scholars in their respective fields, examine concrete situations in which Indigenous peoples seek justice and decolonization from the perspectives of territory and sovereignty, social work and justice.

    Illustrating that there is new hope for real justice in an era in which states and Indigenous peoples seek meaningful forms of reconciliation, this book is an invaluable resource for students and scholars of Taiwan Studies, Indigenous Studies, and Social Justice Studies.

    List of figures

    List of tables

    List of contributors



    1 Introduction: Understanding historical (in)justice, while moving toward Indigenous justice and reconciliation

    Jolan Hsieh and Scott E. Simon

    Part One: Territory and sovereignty

    2 Demarcation of Indigenous traditional territories: A wrong turn toward reconciliation

    Lin Shu-Ya

    3 Extractive industry, traditional territory, and the politics of natural resources in Taiwan: The history and political economy of Indigenous land struggles in the Taroko area

    Chen Yi-fong

    4 Indigenous toponyms under the state policy of the standardization of geographical names

    Peter Kang

    5 Hunting rights, justice, and reconciliation: Indigenous experiences in Taiwan and Canada

    Scott E. Simon

    6 Courts and Indigenous reconciliation: Positivism, the a priori, and justice in Taiwan

    J. Christopher Upton

    Part Two: Social Work

    7 Carrying historical trauma: Alcohol use and healing among Indigenous communities in Taiwan

    Ciwang Teyra and Hsieh (Wendy) Wan-Jung

    8 Indigenous social work and transitional justice in Taiwan

    Kui Kasirisir (Hsu Chun-Tsai)

    9 Across separate spheres in transitional justice: Comparison of marital quality between Han and Tayal groups in the Yilan area

    Shu-chuan Lai

    Part Three: Justice from the Classroom to the Museum

    10 Flux, vision, voice, survival: On a decolonizing filmmaking practice in Taiwan

    Anita Wen-shin Chang

    11 Toward reconciliation and educational justice: Employing culturally sustaining pedagogy in an introductory linguistics course

    Apay Ai-yu Tang

    12 How we can exhibit the ‘other’ culture: The process of understanding the Indigenous Taiwanese peoples in a Japanese museum

    Atsushi Nobayashi

    13 Recreating the beauty of glass beads: A case study on the multicolor patterned beads of Paiwan

    Yu-Hsin Wang



    Scott E. Simon (Ph.D., Anthropology, McGill University) is Professor in the School of Sociological and Anthropological Studies, University of Ottawa, Canada. He is co-chair of the uOttawa Research Chair in Taiwan Studies, as well as a researcher at the Human Rights Research and Education Centre and the Centre for International Policy Studies. Simon is author of three books, and numerous journal articles and book chapters, about Taiwan. Since 2004, he has specialized in the study of indigeneity, based on years of field research in Truku and Seediq villages. He wrote Sadyaq Balae: L’autochtone formosane dans tous ses états (Québec: 2012) and Truly Human: Indigeneity and Indigenous Resurgence on Formosa (Toronto: 2023).

    Jolan Hsieh/Bavaragh Dagalomai (Ph.D., Justice Studies, Arizona State University, Tempe) is a Taiwanese Indigenous scholar of the Siraya Nation. Jolan is a professor of Ethnic Relations and Cultures at the College of Indigenous Studies, and since 2014 has been the Director of the Center for International Indigenous Affairs at National Dong Hwa University (Taiwan). Her research areas are Law and Society, Human Rights, Identity Politics, Global Indigenous Studies, Gender/Ethnicity/Class, Environmental Justice, Indigenous Research and Ethics. Jolan’s book publications include Collective Rights of Indigenous Peoples: Identity-Based Movement of Plains Indigenous in Taiwan (Routledge, 2006/2010) and In-between: Indigenous Research and Activism as Ceremonial Journey (in Chinese, 2017). As a devoted Indigenous activist and scholar, Jolan has produced a large body of knowledge in the areas of Indigenous rights and legal activism, identity politics, Indigenous education, and gender and culture. Jolan’s professional services include advisor to the Presidential Office Indigenous Historical Justice and Transnational Justice Committee/convener of the Reconciliation Subcommittee, the Executive Yuan Indigenous Peoples Basic Law Working Committee, and the Council for Indigenous Peoples Affairs PingPu Peoples Affairs Working Committee. Jolan has served as co-Chair for the World Indigenous Nations Higher Education Consortium since 2019.

    Peter Kang (Ph.D., Geography, University of Minnesota) is Professor at the Graduate Institute of Taiwan History, National Taiwan Normal University, Taiwan. Kang specializes in the studies of toponymy of Taiwan, and historical geography of Formosan Austronesians in the early modern period. His recent articles include “The VOC and the Geopolitics of Southern Formosa: The case of Lonckjouw” (2018), “Seeking ‘Roots’ in Taiwan: ‘Red Hair’ and the Dutch Princess of Eight Treasures” (2018, Routledge), and “Naming and Re-naming on Formosa: The Toponymic Legacies of the VOC Cartographies on the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century Western Maps” (2019).

    "This inspiring book by Simon, Hsieh and Kang on Taiwan’s Indigenous peoples marks a breakthrough both in  Taiwan’s Indigenous studies and for the Indigenous policy in Taiwan. Various chapters have expanded the spectrum of Taiwan’s traditional indigenous studies so to open up the frontier of proactive policy relevant topics on much needed reconciliation between the current government and the Indigenous peoples, including traditional territory, toponyms and hunting rights. Other chapters also tackle historical trauma, demand for transitional justice and call for decolonization in film making, linguistics teaching and museum exhibition. The title of the book, From Stigma to Hope, certainly adds the positive posture in envisioning the future of Indigenous peoples in Taiwan. I sincerely congratulate the editors and chapter authors for making such as a great and timely contribution to the making of the innovative Indigenous Studies in Taiwan."  

    Hsin-Huang Michael Hsiao, Chairman, Taiwan-Asia Exchange Foundation and Senior Advisor to the President of Taiwan