The Origin of Taiwan Indigenous Television

Taiwan's indigenous people are the island's earliest masters, with ancestors on the island for thousands of years. They harmoniously sought to co-exist with nature on this land, working as the sun rose and sleeping when the sun settled each day. Living in rhythm the seasons, they inhabited the areas both near the mountains and the water, for generations inheriting the language, culture and traditional sacrificial offerings handed down to them.

Taiwan's masters gradually lost their stage of life as groups from abroad moved in. They were forced to share this beautiful land with people from the Netherlands, the Ming Dynasty's Cheng Ch'eng-kung, the Japanese as well as the immigrants from the Ch'ing Dynasty. Because of the strength of these cultures entering Taiwan, the indigenous people's culture rapidly disappeared, and they had no choice but to learn the languages and cultures that in fact did not belong to them.

Taiwan's indigenous residents expect to be understood, appreciated, respected and really be treated fairly, not to be isolated and viewed as a minority group.

Now, media is modern society's fastest way to build communication bridges, taking advantage of its power, grasping its explanatory powers, and enabling society's weaker groups to pursue equality and justice. Often, Taiwan's indigenous people are in many ways the weakest politically, economically and within the society. They need to expand themselves within the environment around it, through its own television media, reversing their weak position and to return its lost status, its mother tongue and the culture that has diminished over time.

While indigenous societies' talents remain inside, they realized that without important media power, they will have no voice. Therefore, after so many years of hard work, Taiwan Indigenous Television was proudly established on December 1, 2004, and in the beginning of 2005, it started production along with broadcasting programs and frequency channel tests. After a half-year of preparation and testing, Channel 16, the first "indigenous television station" in Asia started broadcasting on July 1, 2005. With this, other stations such as Taiwan Television and the Eastern Broadcasting Company one after another joined in this effort to start building the foundation.

■ The Taiwan Broadcasting System's Taiwan Indigenous Television

In January 2007, Taiwan Indigenous Television transferred from the Taiwan Broadcasting System and become a non-profit organization as a two-way media platform for indigenous people, with the basic principle of providing to the public the right to know the truth.

■ For Indigenous People

Emphasizing the value of traditional cultures and recognizing the important function of education by the indigenous tribes, providing sufficient modern information, building the clansmen's self-confidence to face the rapidly changes in culture, economy, and politics found in modern society are important functions. Additionally, while the core cultural values of indigenous people have not changed, indeed the outside shape of their culture has been able to adapt, proving their flexibility to accept change, thus raising their competitiveness within society.

■ For Society's Populace

Providing indigenous peoples their profound culture, explaining in simple language to bring out the deep ideas that make up the true nature of the programs, transforming them into programs that are both relaxing and interesting, as well as deep and moving. In turn, they will lead society to accurately know and respect these proud indigenous tribes.

Furthermore, to release valuable resources with the goal of helping indigenous societies achieve an equal position within the larger societies they inhabit.

Taiwan Indigenous Television will give dual attention to those trends found currently in indigenous societies around the world as well as looking closely at the indigenous peoples here in Taiwan.

It is regarded as important the national consciousness, the land, language, culture, natural resources, education and the natural right to independence for which they are correspondingly striving. This is important not only for indigenous peoples who inhabit urban areas and are attempting to adapt to society, but also for the natural ecology of indigenous peoples as well as expanding the consumption of those unique cultural products created by indigenous people. Finally, it seeks to enhance the relationship between tribes among other issues are all the topics of the debate and discussion. These comprise the core values and the duties of Taiwan Indigenous Television.

Strengthening Taiwan Indigenous Television is the expectation of all Taiwan's indigenous people. If this dream can be realized, it will demonstrate the progress of Taiwan society, while also showing the effort of those who contributed from all quarters in this effort for so many years.

In 2007, Taiwan Indigenous Television will revert back to public control and the Taiwan Broadcasting System, signifying an important milestone in the rebuilding of indigenous culture.

At this key historical moment, all the members of Taiwan Indigenous Television will whole-heartedly strive as their sacred duty to ensure this television station will continue in perpetuity, for the continued hope for the development of Taiwan's indigenous peoples.