The indigenous peoples have long been subject to economic exploitation, socia discrimination, political oppression, and public ignorance of their culture. In 1984 the Taiwan Association for the Promotion of the Indigenous Rights issued its Declaration of the Rights of Taiwan's Indigenous Peoples. Its preamble asserts that Taiwan's indigenous peoples are Austronesian and thus distinct from Han Chinese. Although the indigenous peoples have lost their dominion over the land, they still insist that they are the island's rightful heirs.
The Declaration has seventeen demands, including indigenous human rights, rights to decent livelihood, cultural rights, right to self-determination, autonomy, participation in national policy decision making, and a right of veto over decisions affecting the indigenous population. See also Gao Shan Ching.