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Hualien helps 200 indigenous people regain land, other rights

2016/08/29 22:19:01

Fu Kun-chi (3rd left, front) Photo courtesy of Hualien County government.

Taipei, Aug. 29 (CNA) Hualien County Magistrate Fu Kun-chi (傅崐萁) and Council of Indigenous Peoples head Icyang Parod presented certificates Monday to 200 tribal people so they can claim land and other rights from the government.

"The indigenous people who have tilled the land here for 1,000 years are masters who are today presented with certificates that will restore their ancestors' land and allow them to inherit their ancestral glory," Fu said during a ceremony held at County Hall.

He urged the Cabinet-level Council of Indigenous Peoples to provide information and files to help speed up the process of returning the land and restoring rights to use the land to the rightful owners.

The certificates pertain to the ownership of 509,250 square meters of land, the ownership of property on 4,707 square meters of land, the right to cultivate 59,202 square meters of land and the right to raise animals on 58,851 square meters of land.

President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) campaigned on a platform to restore rights to Taiwan's indigenous people. She also made an official apology to indigenous communities for the historical wrongs done to them and promised to compensate them.

Hualien County had previously returned 1,019 hectares of land to the indigenous people and helped them gain other rights to use another 2,291 hectares.

Home to more than 90,000 indigenous people -- more than any other administrative region in Taiwan -- Hualien is the most representative county of indigenous communities and as such should host a museum to showcase Taiwan's indigenous culture, Fu said.

He urged Parod to make a decision to establish the museum in his county to enrich Hualien's cultural heritage and connect Taiwan to global culture.

(By Tyson Lu and S.C. Chang)
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