Palau Ambassador Olkeriil discusses with NCCU’s on the protection of indigenous culture

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NCCU President Ming-cheng Kuo (left) presents the Palauan Ambassador to Taiwan, Dilmei L. Olkeriil (right) with a porcelain plate with an image of a blue magpie representing the spirit of the people of Taiwan.

As part of National Chengchi University’s (NCCU) commitment to the protection and development of indigenous cultures, it has established a series of Austronesian seminars to spur practical action to help Taiwan’s South Pacific brothers and sisters.

Recently, Dilmei L. Olkeriil, Palau's ambassador to Taiwan, recent visited NCCU with Kang-ning Lee, Section Chief of the Council of Indigenous Peoples of the Executive Yuan and staffer Sayun Tosu. NCCU President Ming-cheng Kuo welcomed Ambassador Olkeriil with a gift of a porcelain plate decorated with an image of a Taiwan Blue Magpie, representing the spirit of the people of Taiwan, while the Ambassador presented President Kuo with a handwoven Tet basket, traditionally carried by the Palaun tribal chieftain. 

The head of the NCCU Department of Ethnology, Kuan Da-Wei, opened the meeting with remarks on "International Development and Volunteer Service Program" and presented his previous work with the indigenous communities of the Philippines. 

Professor Kuan also noted that the "Global Higher Education Alliance: Cultivating New Citizens of the World" online workshop series have successively addressed the preservation of indigenous culture and contemporary social development, bringing together scholars from Japan, Thailand, New Zealand, Fiji and Hawaii, and representing NCCU’s deep commitment to indigenous issues. 

Ambassador Olkeriil was presented with three briefings on the topic of "International Development and Service", and also discussed opportunities for cooperation in the future. She noted: "Palau has many significant cultural sites, including ancient settlements that have been developed for tourism, offering visitors more attractions in addition to diving.” 

Fabiola Huang, a faculty member of the Center for Aboriginal Studies, briefed the visitors on the results of the Center’s recent work on protecting the rights and interests of Taiwan’s indigenous peoples, including recent efforts to record indigenous languages. She also presented the Ambassador with the Center’s most recent 100th issue of the "Aboriginal Education World”, a bi-monthly journal established in 2005. 

Shinn-Shyr Wang, Associate Professor of the NCCU Department of Economics, presented a report on the university’s efforts to promote social responsibility, including faculty and student participation in public housing projects in Taipei’s Ankang and Hsing-lung public housing project and cultural literacy work at the Mingtao Elementary School. 

Ambassador Olkeriil also eagerly shared her account of the current situation of local language and cultural preservation in Palau and engaged in a lively discussion. "Palau will benefit from this visit, which presents many opportunities for future cooperation,” she said. The Ambassador noted a bright future for collaboration between NCCU and Palau in promoting the preservation of cultural heritage and environmental sustainability.

Ambassador Olkeriil presents President Kuo with a hand-woven "Tet" basket. According to Palauan tradition, the Tet is carried by the chief, indicating the great importance the Ambassador places on the visit to NCCU.

Palau's ambassador to Taiwan, Dilmei L. Olkeriil (front row, right) expresses her hope for future cooperation with NCCU to promote the preservation of cultural heritage and environmental sustainability.

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