SOAS University of London

Centre of Taiwan Studies

The Pingpu People's Struggle for Indigenous Status Recognition in Taiwan

CTS - IMG - Jolan Hsieh
Prof Jolan Hsieh (Bavaragh Dagalomai)

Date: 7 February 2019Time: 7:00 PM

Finishes: 7 February 2019Time: 9:00 PM

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings Room: KLT

Type of Event: Lecture

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The Pingpu People's Struggle for Indigenous Status Recognition in Taiwan


Taiwan currently recognizes sixteen Indigenous nations / peoples. In addition, some ten nations / peoples including the Plains Indigenous peoples (or PingPu) are now obtaining recognition to re-gain their lost Indigenous status. Unlike the later migrants who came from southeastern China, Taiwan’s Indigenous peoples belong to the larger Austronesian grouping of peoples who have spread across all of the Pacific Ocean, to Southeast Asia, and across the Indian Ocean to Madagascar. According to official records as of December 2018, the Indigenous population of Taiwan is about 565,500, constituting less than 2.4 per cent of island’s total population.

This presentation will talk about Indigenous Rights Social Movement in Taiwan, categorization of Taiwan’s indigenous peoples and their recognition movement, with especial examines on the history of the Plains Indigenous Peoples’ movement. Finally, current developments and challenges for the PingPu will be discussed, especially with focus on the Siraya people. 

Speaker Bio

Dr. Jolan Hsieh | Bavaragh Dagalomai

  • Professor, Department of Ethnic Relations and Cultures
  • Director, Center for International Indigenous Affairs
  • College of Indigenous Studies / National Dong Hwa University

Dr. Jolan Hsieh is a Taiwanese indigenous scholar of Siraya Nation.

Jolan’s 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, Daw-Shiang, 2017), and her most recent publication is a chapter entitled “The Changing Identities of Taiwan’s Plains Indigenous Peoples” (Changing Taiwanese Identities, Routledge, 2017: pp.12-26).  Jolan received Research Excellence Award and several Teaching Excellence Awards from NDHU. She has been a visiting fellow to the Institutum Jurisprudentiae, Academia Sinica (2008) and Canadian Studies Faculty Research Grant fellow (2009), and is currently a recipient of Ministry of Science and Technology’s Humanity and Social Science Visiting Scholar’s Grant (2017-18).

Jolan has served many national / regional / international organizations as an indigenous scholar and activist. Her current professional services include advisor to the Presidential Office’s Indigenous Historical Justice and Transnational Justice Committee / convener of Reconciliation Subcommittee, Executive Yuan’s Indigenous Peoples’ Basic Law’s Working Committee, Council for Indigenous Peoples Affairs’ PingPu Peoples Affairs’ Working Committee, Tainan City Ethnic Affairs Committee / Ethnic Mainstreaming Committee,  MacKay Memorial Hospital Foundation / MacKay Medical College, and country representative in World Indigenous Nations Higher Education Consortium and World Indigenous Nations Universities.  

Jolan was Chairperson for the Standing Supervisor Board for the Indigenous Peoples’ Cultural Foundation, Secretary General of Taiwan International Studies Association, Deputy Editor-in-Chief of Taiwan International Studies Quarterly, Executive Editor of Taiwan Journal of Indigenous Studies, Editorial Board for Journal of Native American and Indigenous Studies, co-Chair of Green Party Taiwan, Board of Director member for the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy, Chairperson of Amnesty International Taiwan Section, council member of Native American and Indigenous Studies Association.

As an indigenous activist and scholar, Jolan is also active in indigenous language and cultural revitalization movements and critiques indigenous politics. Due to her personal research interests and the need to understand other countries’ indigenous politics and related social issues, she also does research on indigenous studies around the world. Jolan’s priority is to foster strategies and collaborations at NDHU to enhance research, education and innovation cooperation with various international educational institutions with indigenous focus, most notably recent partnership with Aotearoa, Australia, Canada, US, Sami Land, Hawaii, and Japan.

Jolan currently leads two Ministry of Education funded projects, “Taiwan – Aotearoa New Zealand Indigenous Higher Education Connection” and “Mainstreaming Taiwan Indigenous Cultures and Languages”, and as Principal Investigator for several Ministry of Science and Technology and Council for Indigenous Peoples’ research projects.  

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Organiser: SOAS Centre of Taiwan Studies

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Sponsor: Shung Ye Museum of Formosan Aborigines