Vol. 7, No. 1 (2011): 93–121.
On 23 September 2010, the government of Taiwan moved closer to establishing a legislative framework for the negotiation of power sharing agreements with the nation’s aboriginal groups when the Cabinet decided to approve the Indigenous Peoples Self-Government Act. Although the Act still awaits passage by the Legislature, many stakeholders in aboriginal self-rule are optimistic about this latest move. Others say the legislation lacks teeth. In many of its policy initiatives, the ROC government has looked abroad for a blueprint, and Canada is the Western country that is often promoted as a viable model to follow in this regard. The purpose of this paper is to contrast the historical and cultural influences of each nation’s relationship with its indigenous population and, given these variances, identify potential roadblocks to Taiwan’s successful implementation of a viable mechanism for deriving aboriginal self-government agreements based on the Canadian example, as well as to propose policy recommendations on what direction relevant legislation should take.
Dean Karalekas is a doctoral candidate and researcher at National Chengchi University in Taipei. His research interests focus on indigenous rights, cross-cultural legislative adaptation, and national security in the Asia- Pacific region. He completed his MA in Taiwan Studies at NCCU, and did his undergraduate work at Canada’s McGill University where he studied Physics and Geography. He spent several years as a journalist, teacher and immigration consultant in East Asia and is the producer and director of the award-winning short film, “Rendezvous with the Moon,” which is a retelling of one of the myths of central Taiwan’s Bunun ethno-history.