San Ying Tribe Struggles

Land is not a product; I want to survive

Event description

In the 1970s and 80s, many indigenous people, facing economic pressure, moved from their ancestral lands to urban areas, engaging in the most arduous and dangerous labor. Due to the inability to afford high rents, numerous Amis migrants chose to settle on the outskirts of the city in the Da-han Riverbed area, creating a new "San Ying Tribe" on their own. In the early 1990s, the Taipei County government forcefully demolished the illegally constructed San Ying Tribe multiple times. However, with no alternative, the residents had to rebuild their houses in the same location.

This issue drew the attention of indigenous activists, and Amis documentary filmmaker Mayaw Biho produced two films, "Children of Heaven" and "Upstream Home," raising awareness about the rights of urban indigenous people in Taiwanese society. Through prolonged resistance and negotiation, the Taipei County government built the "Long En Pu Indigenous Public Housing" in 2007, relocating residents from various urban indigenous tribes (such as the Xi-zhou Tribe) to this new location. However, the planning of the public housing did not consider the indigenous way of life and culture, leading to difficulties for many residents to adapt. Consequently, they returned to live in the San Ying Tribe, reigniting controversies over eviction.

In response, the San Ying Tribe engaged in negotiations with the government again. Eventually, the government provided a piece of land for the tribe to lease, and through the "333 model" (meaning funds raised jointly by the government, residents, and resident loans), they achieved the goal of "tribal self-construction." This resulted in the establishment of the "Sanxia Indigenous Life and Culture Park," their new homeland.


The San Ying Tribe has been successfully reconstructed as the "San Ying Tribe Indigenous Park," comprising 42 households. It stands as Taiwan's first urban indigenous settlement built successfully using the "333 model."

Participating Organizations

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