ISSN 1016-1007 GPN2005600032
頁數:207﹣250 臺灣原住民族電視新聞對氣候變遷的文化再現 Cultural Representation in Taiwan Indigenous Television’s News Reports on Climate Change
Tzong-Sheng Deng
climate change, cultural representation, indigenous traditional knowledge, resilience, Taiwan Indigenous Television
This study investigates how Taiwan Indigenous Television’s news represents indigenous people’s traditional knowledge, explains the relationship between climate events and indigenous cultures, and further explores the intention of cultural dissemination. The results herein can promote communication, education, and news content design in regards to the indigenous culture.

It first presents a literature review to examine the impact of climate change on indigenous culture, to clarify the concepts of and interactions between indigenous people’s traditional knowledge and resilience, and to evaluate their power relationships in their discourse on climate change. Discussions covering the influence of climate change on indigenous people has shifted focus from the tangible loss involved in climate change to the non-economic or spiritual aspects of influence. However, discourse on climate change has not appeared in the context of indigenous people’s traditional knowledge (e.g., local legends, rituals, and socioecological knowledge).

Traditional knowledge is qualitative-, subjective-, and experience-based and emphasizes contextualized micro-narratives of the locals as opposed to scientific knowledge, which can be explained through quantitative, empirical, rational, and predictable grand narratives. This does not negate the applicability of ethnic-, culture-, and spirit-centered traditional knowledge of an indigenous group to other indigenous groups; rather, intergroup exchanges occur, because of similar sociocultural and ecological conditions. The resilience and recovery processes of indigenous people are collective, and their traditional knowledge is tightly connected through their worldview of relationships. As news related to climate change transitions from scientifically-focused toward more socially- and culturally-focused content, the discourse on disaster management and environmental vulnerability has mainly responded to the dominant political, economic, cultural, and social groups as well as their values. Therefore, indigenous people’s cultural experiences are often overlooked.

This study conducts a narrative analysis by retrieving documents from the Taiwan Indigenous Television channel. It collects news reports from 2011 to 2021 by searching keywords such as “climate change” and “global warming.” Similarity analysis principles allows us to select climate events that affect indigenous people and have features distinct from others. By rereading and retelling, it analyzes texts for background, sources, routes, resources, perspectives, cultural identity, and members involved to explore the timing, purpose, meaning, and symbolism of representing indigenous people’s traditional knowledge.

In the text analysis, 82 news reports are selected and categorized under 4 cultural frameworks according to similarities of their content for the narrative analysis. The 4 frameworks are ecological signals, open indigenous tribes, resilient relationships, and intercultural others frameworks. The analysis results are as follows.

(1) The ecological signals framework represents “traditional normality.” Indigenous people regard ecological signals as critical cultural events. The presence of abnormal signals indicates that other activities will be affected and that corresponding actions are required. If the news audience lacks understanding of the cultural background and interpretation associated with the animals, plants, and the environment mentioned in news, they may fail to develop a deeper cultural understanding (e.g., of rituals and myths).
(2) The open tribes framework connects the identities of indigenous peoples. Discussions on climate change involve an examination of one another’s tribal cultures (e.g., in seminars, forums, workshops, and award ceremonies). The open tribes framework produces understanding and value recognition and introduces traditional knowledge to the outside world. The audience’s lack of exchange with and understanding of other indigenous tribes and its unawareness of the actions taken by other tribes may impose challenges in that the audience may interpret the news content through their local context (e.g., the elders, memories, and myths of their own tribes).
(3) The resilient relationships framework focuses on events related to relational ethics. Narratives revolve around the living space of tribes (e.g., fishing, construction, crop farming, and livestock farming). The study examines existing resilient relationships in a meaningful environment to obtain knowledge for generating dynamic resilience. The resilient relationships framework provides a dynamic interpretation of indigenous people’s resilience through both traditional and modern knowledge.
(4) The intercultural others framework explains how indigenous peoples worldwide share their traditional knowledge, fight for their cultural rights in protection of their tight relationships with nature and the land, respond to interactions between the continuation of traditional knowledge and external forces (e.g., globalization, business markets, and systemic environmental threats), and handle the power relationships involved in the interactions. This framework emphasizes the connection of cultural actions taken by indigenous people around the world in response to climate change.

The resilient actions of indigenous people maintain the unique cultural boundaries of tribes in which similar beliefs and values are shared with changes to the traditional territorial behavior. Traditions are continued to retain tribal identity and accentuate the inclusivity of tribal culture. The news produced by Taiwan Indigenous Television is typically based on cultural topics, and the narratives closely relate to the traditional knowledge of indigenous people. Although a single piece of news cannot present the entire picture of Taiwan’s indigenous peoples, their traditional knowledge may be scattered across various news texts.

In the overall cultural context, indices can be created to connect related news texts to reveal how an event is culturally unique to each indigenous group. These texts could be utilized as materials for cultural dissemination, education, and design (e.g., art creations and development of teaching materials), which can shape and mediatize the indigenous knowledge system for various purposes. Taiwan Indigenous Television demonstrates the diversity of media culture in climate change topics. The production of indigenous people’s traditional knowledge is not limited to compiling ancient texts, as it provides a basis for reflecting how cultural texts are produced in other media.
Building upon the narratives under the 4 frameworks, indigenous people and reporters can, with both of them being a subject of the narrative, collaborate to produce and apply traditional knowledge as they situate themselves in the present while looking back on ancient memories. By asking themselves whose traditional knowledge they are discussing, they can produce in-depth experimental narratives that are relevant to resilience and culturally responsive to climate change (or sustainability).
2023/ 春