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11/30/2017.Wenzao Inaugurates Indigenous Student Resource Center

發布日期 2017-11-30 11:42:00

 


 

Faculty and students posed for a commemorative photo at the opening ceremony for Wenzao’s Indigenous Student Resource Center on November 29th.

Photographer / Olivia Hsieh

 

Novemer 30, 2017

【News release/ Public Relations Office】

 

     Wenzao Ursuline University of Languages inaugurated the Indigenous Student Resource Center in a ceremony on November 29th, after nearly a year of planning. The Center will provide counseling services to support Wenzao’s indigenous students in their academic life, personal life, and career development, creating a space for connection and empowerment. In addition, the Center will spearhead campus activities that promote indigenous culture and provide services to tribal communities. Leveraging Wenzao’s international exchange resources, the Center will send ambassadors out into the world and build a global awareness of the beauty of Taiwan’s indigenous culture.

 

     Wenzao unveiled the Resource Center on November 29th, blessing it in a traditional indigenous ceremony. Rukai National Assembly Chairman Lavuras‧Abaliwsu, Kaohsiung Aboriginal Affairs Committee Secretary-General Payan‧Islituan, Wenzao President Shieu-ming Chou, Wenzao’s Vice President for Administrative Affairs Li-yen Chen, and over a hundred faculty and students attended the event. The Tzuchin Teenager Association of Wenzao Ursuline University of Languages welcomed the guests with a traditional indigenous dance, and indigenous-style cuisine was furnished to receive them.

 
     It’s worth mentioning that the murals on the outer walls of the Indigenous Student Resource Center were painted by Wenzao’s own faculty and students. Centered on the sun, the mural speaks of the indigenous experience as “children of the sun.” Each of Taiwan’s 16 official tribes is represented as a totem on a ray of light. In addition, the mural’s pillars feature greetings of the Paiwan, Amis and Bunun tribes, the three groups most represented in Wenzao’s student population. Over time, the ceiling will be covered with greetings of the other indigenous tribes, as well as those of the Maori, Indonesian, Malaysian, and Austronesian people, symbolizing ethnic integration and the Center’s ambitions in the international community.

  

     Currently there are 133 indigenous students at Wenzao, hailing from the Paiwan, Amis, Bunun, Saisiyat, Rukai, Puyuma, Truku, Kanakanavu, and other tribes, studying in a range of academic departments. Deborah Chun-hwa Chang, a lecturer in the Department of English, became the Resource Center’s director in August 2017. Chang has closely engaged with indigenous culture for nearly 20 years. Her involvement in indigenous affairs started with promoting indigenous culture and has begun to extend into addressing social issues. Chang said that with the founding of the Resource Center, there was now a campus base where indigenous students could share in cultural exchanges, promote indigenous culture and connect in solidarity.

 

     The Indigenous Student Resource Center will provide support in the four areas of academic counseling, indigenous clubs, tribal services, and international exchanges, helping indigenous students adapt to campus life and hone their foreign language skills. The center will bring together Southern Taiwan’s two main clubs for indigenous youth at tertiary institutions, organizing joint exhibitions or club showcases to promote indigenous art. It will consolidate departmental resources for international exchanges, while working to create multilingual educational materials on indigenous culture, in order to proactively promote the cultural expressions of indigenous people at academic venues overseas. The Center also intends for Wenzao’s indigenous and non-indigenous students, both domestic and international, to visit tribal villages where they will offer services, teach their mother tongue, and gain a deeper understanding of the local languages and cultures.

     

  

Photographer:Olivia Hsieh

 

Wenzao inaugurated its Indigenous Student Resource Center, blessing it in a traditional indigenous ceremony. 

The Tzuchin Teenager Association of Wenzao Ursuline University of Languages welcomed guests

to the opening ceremony with a traditional indigenous dance.

From right to left: Wenzao Vice President for Administrative Affairs Li-yen Chen, Kaohsiung Aboriginal Affairs Committee Secretary-General Payan‧Islituan, and Rukai National Assembly Chairman Lavuras‧Abaliwsu drank together in a symbol of friendship at the opening ceremony.

 Wenzao Vice President for Administrative Affairs Li-yen Chen (second from the left), Indigenous Student Resource Director Deborah Chun-hwa Chang (third from the left), and a Truku tribesman drank together in a symbol of friendship at the opening ceremony.

In his remarks at the opening ceremony, Kaohsiung Aboriginal Affairs Committee Secretary-General Payan‧Islituan said he hoped the Center would become a platform for Wenzao students as well as scholars and others who cared deeply for indigenous culture. 

Wenzao President Shieu-ming Chou pledged to invest in and improve resource matchmaking for indigenous students, opening up a greater diversity of opportunities for their development.

In his remarks at the opening ceremony, Wenzao’s Vice President for Administrative Affairs Li-yen Chen underscored the importance of cross-cultural communication.

Attendees of the opening ceremony for the Resource Center posed for a photo. From left to right: Professor Lin Chun-feng, Dean of Student Affairs Chen Jin-pei, Indigenous Student Resource Director Deborah Chun-hwa Chang, Wenzao President Shieu-ming Chou, Wenzao Vice President for Administrative Affairs Li-yen Chen, Kaohsiung Aboriginal Affairs Committee Secretary-General Payan‧Islituan, and Rukai National Assembly Chairman Lavuras‧Abaliwsu.

Media arrived on campus for the opening ceremony, interviewing the new Center’s director Deborah Chun-hwa Chang (right). 

A reporter from Taiwan Indigenous TV (right) was on-site to cover the event.