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Sustainability 2018, 10(9), 3259; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10093259

An Application of Sustainable Development in Indigenous People’s Revival: The History of an Indigenous Tribe’s Struggle in Taiwan

Department of Urban Planning and Development Management, Chinese Culture University, Taipei 11114, Taiwan
Received: 2 August 2018 / Revised: 4 September 2018 / Accepted: 10 September 2018 / Published: 12 September 2018
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Abstract

Community development is seen as a crucial factor to realize sustainable development and vice versa, and for indigenous peoples in particular due to their associations with nature and natural resources. However, historical exploitation of indigenous peoples has resulted in their underachievement worldwide. The popularization of the concept of sustainable development followed a series of international treaties and conventions that shed light on indigenous peoples’ revival. Drawing upon Michel Foucault’s notion of the power-knowledge relationship, this article uses a case study of an indigenous tribe, the Smangus in Taiwan, to demonstrate how a politically, socially and economically disadvantaged community incorporates their traditional norms and customs into the notion of sustainable development and reinterprets it to adapt the community’s conditions. By re-uniting the community and establishing a cooperative organization, the community has revived cohesion in their community. The community’s conduct is investigated through the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals 2015–2030, and the article illustrates how it fulfils three Targets and the extent to which they are fulfilled. To conclude, Smangus’ case remind us of the importance of achieving sustainable development goals on micro- and local levels, and the value of empowering local communities to pursue their own sustainable development goals according to their circumstances. This article ends with suggestions for future research, and suggests that more studies using such a bottom-up approach to sustainable development would help to accumulate knowledge and experiences to establish a pattern of success to help other disadvantaged communities, draw focus to the need to bridge the policy gaps between the United Nations and local communities, and recall attention to the role of micro- and local communities to achieve sustainable development goals. View Full-Text
Keywords: sustainable development; sustainable development goals; community development; indigenous people sustainable development; sustainable development goals; community development; indigenous people
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Yu, C.-Y. An Application of Sustainable Development in Indigenous People’s Revival: The History of an Indigenous Tribe’s Struggle in Taiwan. Sustainability 2018, 10, 3259.

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