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On October 29, DPP presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen said at the inaugural meeting of the campaign office for aboriginals in the north that in the past, foreign authorities have owed the aboriginals too much. Tsai went on to say that if she is elected, she will apologize to all aboriginals as president on Aboriginal Day (August 1) next year.

China Times reports, Tsai opened her speech by greeting the audience in aboriginal languages and went on to introduce her Paiwan name, “Tjuku," and her Amis name, “Panay." She also stressed that her grandmother was from the Paiwan tribe in Pingtung.

In her speech, Tsai said that the aboriginal policies announced on August 1 this year were also the first policies announced in the 2016 presidential election. This shows her respect and affirmation towards the original owners of the island and her determination to solve related issues. In addition, the DPP has established 67 aboriginal campaign offices across the nation, which is the most widespread and successful in the history of the party.

Liberty Times reports, Tsai says that apologizing is just the first step. Transitional justice is what needs to be done. She will set up an “Investigation and Reconciliation Commission" in the office of the president and restore truth to the hundreds of years authorities have violated the rights of aboriginals. She will reestablish reputation of the tribes and strive towards reconciliation and living together.

Tsai further noted that she would also promote “true autonomy" for aboriginals so that each tribe can manage themselves using their own ways and cultures. This will also help develop tourism.

ETtoday reports, Tsai also emphasizes that aboriginals registered in cities account for 50% of the total amount of aboriginals. Along with the number of unregistered aboriginals working in cities, this number is up to 60% to 70%. Helping these people obtain equal opportunities to develop and realize their dreams is an important issue for the next president.

Tsai said that the Indigenous Peoples Employment Rights Protection Act would be amended in the future so that government organizations of all levels, public schools and government-owned facilities will increase posts. She expects to increase 10,000 job opportunities for the indigenous people.

The DPP presidential candidate also promised that she will focus on health, economy and education, which are the three things aboriginals need most. She will develop a long-term care system with aboriginal cultural features and establish an “Aboriginal Mutual Aid Bank." Tsai will also make indigenous languages truly become national languages and expand education grants to establish a full-time tribal language teachers’ system.

Tsai concluded that she will use actual policies as guidance, so senior citizens can retire at ease and the people can have a stable job and income. This will also help revitalize indigenous cultures so all aboriginals can be proud of their culture.

Translated by Olivia Yang