HDI Attends Seminar Hosted by The Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) In New York City on Indigenous Peoples

The Humpty Dumpty Institute (HDI) works around the world to inform and foster dialogue amongst critical stakeholders on key global issues. We do this through our programs with the U.S. Congress and the United Nations, engaging young people, supporting cultural diplomacy, and working on humanitarian programs.

On April 24, 2024, HDI attended a seminar hosted by The Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) in New York City: Elevation Indigenous Rights to Self-Determination Based on Indigenous Youth Perspectives.  The Seminar was held to coincide with activities for the 10th anniversary of the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples commemorated at the United Nations. Taiwan is a leader in recognizing the rights of indigenous people. There are more than 700,000 indigenous people living in Taiwan.  Since the 1990s, when Taiwan became fully democratic and a principal partner of the United States in Asia, the rights of the indigenous communities in Taiwan have been recognized and protected. The Constitution of Taiwan guarantees political representation for Indigenous Peoples. Taiwan strives to maintain indigenous cultures while at the same time including Indigenous Peoples in all aspects of Taiwanese government and society.

The Director of TECO New York, H.E. Ambassador James K. J. Lee, welcomed the attendees at the Seminar, which was opened with a keynote address by Eleng Kazangiljan, a member of the Paiwan in Taiwan.  Ms. Kazangilan is a leading advocate for climate action, reflecting the importance the Paiwan people place on nature.   The Seminar was moderated by Dr. Edward Limin Lo, who greeted the attendees in the Taiwanese Hakka language of his family.  Dr. Lo is currently at the University of Kentucky developing a paradigm in which Cherokee Traditional Ecological Knowledge is integrated with geoscience research. The panelists were Emerald Skye Byrd, a member of the Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana; Venus Evans, a tribal citizen of the Mi’Kmaq Nation of Presque Isle, Maine; Anagali Duncan an environmental activist from the Cherokee Reservation, and Shelbie Lamour also from the Cherokee nation who is an advocate for sovereignty issues related to Indigenous Peoples. The panel discussed several areas in which Indigenous Peoples’ culture and knowledge could be applied to the current climate crisis.  The panel also discussed the need for more protections for the rights of Indigenous peoples worldwide.

HDI has had a long relationship with Taiwan. We have collaborated with the Government of Taiwan on humanitarian assistance programs in Sri Lanka and have brought the U.S. cultural program to Taiwan.