This April, Margaret attended the 22nd Session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII). UNPFII is an annual conference for the Indigenous peoples, started in 2002; it was established under international recognition of the rights of the Indigenous peoples. It is currently the most significant global forum for the Indigenous peoples, with thousands of individuals and organizations participating worldwide each year. Representatives from various fields related to Indigenous issues participate in discussion and provided expert advice to advisory bodies within the United Nations (UN) system on Indigenous issues, as well as to the funds and agencies of the UN as a reference in decision-making.
This is the first year the UNPFII was hosted in-person after the emergence of COVID-19. Margaret and her team – two additional young Indigenous scholars from the Pangcah/’Amis and the Atayal communities based in Boston, Massachusetts, and Helsinki, Finland – gathered in the UN headquarters in New York City. Besides participating in this forum, they also collaborated with Habitat Pro, an Indigenous NGO, and other delegations from the Taiwan Indigenous communities to host a side event at the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) in New York to share their hands-on experiences in their professions. Margaret joined delegates from the Paiwan communities and officials from the Council of Indigenous Peoples (CIP) in Taiwan for a tour of the MET to view the eleven Taiwan Indigenous holdings in the museum. These materials come from Atayal, Tao, and Paiwan communities.
For more on Margaret’s experiences, please see her full article in Taiwan Insight here.
Margaret Yun-Pu Tu (Nikal Kabalan’an) is from the Taiwan Indigenous community of the Pangcah/’Amis people. She is a Ph.D. Candidate in the School of Law at the University of Washington in Seattle. She is also affiliated with the University of Washington Taiwan Studies Program as a Ph.D. student and the Centre of Austronesian Studies (COAST) as an Associate Research Fellow. She is currently leading the review and engagement plan for the Indigenous Taiwan holdings at the Burke Museum. This Burke Museum project is expected to be shown in various locations in Seattle this coming Autumn.