March 26, 2021 - Bellevue, WA - A special cross-cultural ceremony took place at the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) Culture Center in Bellevue Washington on Friday, March 26, 2021. The donation ceremony started with an acknowledgement of the land that this event took place on as the traditional home of the original caretakers who are still here today. Five thousand medical face masks and “Taiwan Can Help” care packages were donated to Nisqually tribe. DG Chen, President Chang, and Council/Board Member McCloud were presented with Certificates of Appreciation from the ATAYAL Organization. DG Chen presented the ATAYAL organization with Paiwan artwork from Taiwan. The Nisqually Tribe presented Taiwanese attendees with locally made gifts and posters of Chief Leschi, a prominent leader of the Nisqually Tribe.
|Project Coordinator William Tsang presents a Certificate of Appreciation to Nisqually Council member Hanford McCloud.|
Representatives from the Nisqually and ATAYAL Organization shared stories of the Tribal Canoe Journeys over the last three years prior to the pandemic lockdown. The Nisqually reaffirmed their desire to bring a delegation of elders and youth to tour Taiwan. The tour, part of an effort coordinated by ATAYAL to bring host tribal nation delegates to tour Taiwan, will be planned for next year for about five delegates from the Nisqually Tribe. William shared updates from the Indigenous Bridges Youth Ambassador Program and the upcoming virtual conference event centered on reviving of Indigenous tourism post pandemic.
|Project Coordinator Tsang presents a Certificate of Appreciation to Director General KC Chen.|
The group also discussed seafood business cooperation. The Nisqually Tribe pointed out the importance of economic development and food sovereignty. Hanford shared a youth food sovereignty initiative to establish oyster farms to teach youth to breed, raise, and harvest oysters using traditional and sustainable practices.
|William Tsang with three recipients of the Indigenous Bridges Certificate of Appreciation.|
Hanford pointed out that the years of cultural exchange and hosting Taiwanese delegates during the Tribal Canoe Journeys are important to making events like this happen. It was agreed that this event would be the start of a long-term relationship between the Taiwanese Chamber of Commerce and Nisqually as well. The Taiwanese organizations were invited to visit the Nisqually Cultural Center in the Summer.
|A special meeting to discuss future activities and partnerships.|
This ceremony was primarily organized by William Tsang, Project Coordinator of the ATAYAL Organization. The ATAYAL Organization is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded in 2001 in the State of Florida. It is registered in the State of Florida and Washington State. It's activities focus on international Indigenous culture exchange, with its focus on Indigenous youth exchange and leadership development. The activities are organized by ATAYAL under the Indigenous Bridges Youth Ambassador Program (IBYAP), and are facilitated in partnership with various tribal and academic groups. For more information, please visit our web site at https://www.indigenousbridges.org.
Director General Daniel Kuo-Ching Chen, Taipei Economic and Cultural Office
Vice Consul Tony Nien Tzu Hu, TECO
Director Hsiao-Chu Wu, Culture Center of TECO
Economic Development Manager, Michael Mason, Nisqually
Director of Emergency Management, Jeff Choke, Nisqually
Council Member and Board Member, Hanford McCloud, Nisqually
President Jeff Chang, Taiwanese Chamber of Commerce
VP Justin Wei, TCCS
Former President Jenny Kung, TCCS
William Tsang, ATAYAL