One Mind, One Heart

by on Monday, 21 November 2011 5034 hits Comments
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Duncan City Hall, Duncan, Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island

We were all stunned when Duncan City Mayor, Phil Kent, personally opened the door to the City Hall for us and even further when Phil, Councillor Joe Thorne and a Federal representative, took the afternoon off work to take us around the the small city, giving us the local folklore and joining for lunch us to continue the days discussions.

During the presentation and discussion, our group was able to learn much about Government-First Nation relations in the past and how they are changing now to right the wrongs of history. City councillor Joe Thorne, is the First Nations representative on the council he explained how they initiate inter-community dialogue for more positive working interactions. We also discovered that Duncan was an experimental ground for deliberative, participative democracy with the doors open to the public for city council meetings, a fact that strengthened the voice of an often underrepresented group.

For readers in Mainland China:

Filmed and edited by Cerise Phiv, subtitled by Vica Zhuhan

"Duncan City Hall also left its mark on me. It was very impressive that totem poles carved and painted by First Nations peoples were everywhere. Local First Nations councillor, Joe Thorne, told us how he was working to reconcile differences and find a balance between outsiders and themselves, by sharing their hearts and their cultures. I was moved when Joe told us in his tribe: “Our wives are like pearls in our hands. We love and respect them.”"
Iwan Ilong (Department of Tourism, Aletheia University, Taroko Nation)


"...Another talented person, with reserves of warmth and wisdom was Councillor Joe Thorne. His methods in the development of tribal cultures really broadened my horizons. He shared his tribe’s culture, unique features and history with the populace at large, so that indigenous culture could progress in line with modern society at large, without being diluted or wiped out altogether. The Councillor’s attitude to developing the tribe was formed by listening patiently to the diverse voices within the tribe, understanding their needs, so that he could get an idea of what was really in the interests of the tribe."
Takun Tado (School of Medicine, National Yang-Ming University, Seediq Nation)


"In Duncan City, the First Nations’ minister Joe Thorne proclaimed, “One mind, one heart” as he explained to us about the consultation mechanisms between the government and the people. Though there are still lots of employment problems for the local First Nations population, many organizations observe and offer suggestions on the effectiveness of employment policies. Here in Duncan City, the government and the people are on the same side."
Labi (Department of Ethnic Relations and Cultures, National Dong Hwa University, Amis Nation)

"From what we saw in Canada, I felt that compared to Taiwan’s Indigenous people, the First Nations had a much stronger self-awareness and recognition than us. That’s not to say that no one is concerned about us in Taiwan, however if you’re Indigenous and live in a city, what do you have to symbolise that there are Indigenous peoples living there? There is some awareness in Taiwan, however when you compare it to Duncan City it is very weak. This raises the question once more, are Taiwan’s Aboriginals being fully respected. When we talk of ourselves in Taiwan, is it not as if we are talking about foreigners?"
Utun Titi (Department of Indigenous Languages and Communication, National Dong Hwa University, Taroko Nation)

Photo by S. Hsueh

Last modified on Wednesday, 08 January 2014 17:33
Shu-ching Hsueh (薛淑靖)

Shu-ching worked on Renlai's promotion and on the animation of our readers' groups. She has a M.A. in Japanese literature from Fu Jen University.


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