National policy and local participation in making aboriginal digital archive the lesson from taiwan
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National policy and local participation in making aboriginal digital archive: The lesson from Taiwan. Chen-Ling Hung Associate Professor The Graduate Institute of Journalism, National Taiwan University. ICT and indigenous peoples.

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Chen-Ling Hung Associate Professor The Graduate Institute of Journalism,

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National policy and local participation in making aboriginal digital archive: The lesson from Taiwan

Chen-Ling Hung

Associate Professor

The Graduate Institute of Journalism,

National Taiwan University

ICT and indigenous peoples

  • Information and Communication Technology (ICT) should be used to support and encourage cultural diversity and to preserve and promote the language, distinct identities and traditional knowledge of Indigenous peoples, nations and tribes in a manner which they determine best advances these goals.

    --The Declaration of the Global Forum of Indigenous Peoples and the Information Society, Article 2

ICT access of different ethnic groups in Taiwan

Taiwanese policies (1)

  • The National Digital Archive Program(NDAP)

  • Phase I (2002-2006): digitized selected representative cultural assets for cultural and academic research

  • Phase II (2007-2012): to foster indigenous value and demonstrate Taiwan’s cultural diversity

    --Cultural, Academic, Socio-Economic, and Educational Promotions and Applications Project (CASE Project): to integrate archival contents and technologies into educational, academic, industrial, and social development; to inspire local autonomous archive by building partnership with more local organizations and communities.

Taiwanese policies (2)

  • Digital Opportunity Centers: Creating Digital Opportunities in Rural Areas (2004-)

  • Standard deployment: a space with computers and online equipment, on-site staff and computer courses

  • Cooperation between the central government and local communities

Digital Opportunity Center


  • the residence of Se-edig people of Atayal tribe in central Taiwan

  • Wushe Event: The biggest uprising against Japanese colonial rule

  • locates in the mountainous area, isolated from outside world

  • 110 households (five hundred residents)

  • main industries: farm and weaving industry

  • the young generation leaves home for better job opportunities, leaving elders, women and children at home.

Alan Gluban meets ICTs

  • 1999 Alan Gluban Website: to tell the story of Alan Gluban’s survival after Chichi earthquake

  • 2004 Digital Opportunity Center: to enhance digital capabilities of rural people

  • 2007 National Digital Archives Program: to transform Alan-Gluban’s cultural heritage into digital archive.

The process of digital archiving

  • to form a work team

  • to survey on local people’s needs

  • to produce the contents of the tribe archive based upon the survey results.

The work team

  • National Digital Archives Program: sponsor

  • National Taiwan University: project coordinator

  • The Association of Taiwan Indigenous Peoples College: local assistant

  • Wingcloud Studio: website design studio

  • The Association of Community Development in Alan-Gluban: gatherer and recorder of local events and cultural heritage

Survey results: ICT access of Alan-Gluban residents

Major problems which discourage Internet access

Potential benefits of digital archive

Tribal Information needed to be documented

Alan Gluban Digital Archive

  • Website

  • the old photos about the Wushe Event were scanned and digitalized. Community activities such as tribe meetings and DOC training courses were recorded. Besides, special video programs were made for promoting tribe history and weaving culture.

  • 2008: 11 video programs and 121 photos posted on this website.

  • the documentation of tribe culture demands participation of residents and the cooperation between the community and outside groups.


Photos and Video

Alan Gluban / Tribal Culture Online

Introduction / Art / Landscape / Culture and History / Event

Art / Landscape / Culture and History / Wushe Event

Cooperation between the public and private sectors

  • Mutual trust and understanding

  • Efficient communication and negotiation

  • Proper resources to carry out the project

  • Cultivate and accumulate the autonomy of local people

  • preserve culture heritage of the aboriginal tribe

Challenges in making tribe archive

  • training local ICT expert

  • enduring participation from aboriginal communities

  • secrets and taboo in indigenous culture which hinders the progress of digital archive

  • stable funding to support the project


  • Cultural preservation cannot be achieved by ICT alone.

  • a community-based participation model shows its strengths and challenges to preserve indigenous history and culture.

  • By getting communities and outside partners involved in the development of digital archive, meaningful use of ICT by community members is likely to follow, bringing with the expected benefits.

  • Challenges of sustainable development should be addressed.

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