In Atayal weaving, most designs consist of horizontal lines, which represent the rainbow bridge to the spirit world, and argyles, which represent the eyes of the ancestors.
A 501(c)(3) non-profit organization serving indigenous communities.

Building bridges for cultural exchange

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The social projects of the ATAYAL organization are selected and developed to further the mission of connecting indigenous communities, an raising awareness for the need. For more details on the social projects below, click on the photos or links.

Current Projects

April 2012 - Present

TAP ROOT: A journey of self-discovery

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Tap Root - An Austronesian Cultural Exchange Program: The ATAYAL organization will organize and facilitate a cultural exchange program between Austronesian indigenous groups throughout the Pacific. There will be a media project to document and promote the program. The first cultural exchange proposed by our organization will be between a group of Maori students in New Zealand, and indigenous communities in Taiwan. The theme of the first exchange trip will be Indigenous Media Cooperation. The founder of the ATAYAL organization traveled to Wairoa, NZ at the end of May 2012 to present the indigenous Taiwanese culture and the proposal for student exchange to the New Zealand Maori community. This exchange will become a model for other indigenous communities.

September 2013 - Present

Indigenous Community Education Program

ATAYAL Director, Gary Smoke, is organizing this program that will be launched in the Fall of 2013. Volunteers are recruited and organized to teach skills to the children of indigenous villages of Taiwan. This is a special opportunity for foreign nationals in Taiwan to make a difference for indigenous children. Classes are being organized to teach English, art, photography, and soccer. There are even plans for the formation of a youth soccer league.

December 2010 - Present

Christmas In Wulai

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ATAYAL Director, Gary Smoke, has organized this event every year since 2010. Through his leadership, the ATAYAL organization, in partnership with other groups in Taiwan, have collected toys, clothing and money, to donate to the children of the village of Wulai in the mountains of New Taipei City. The donation to children is made in conjunction with a celebration help, with live music, Christmas carols, and a visit from Santa Claus himself. Toys have also been donated to the children of Chingchuan village in Hsinchu County. Money raised has been donated to a local church in Wulai and will be used to fund the Indigenous Community Education Program.

May 2009 - Present

Taiwan Outreach

The founders of the ATAYAL organization are currently living, working and traveling in Taiwan to deepen their understanding of its indigenous communities, while strengthening the relationships for future projects. Tony Coolidge has also developed a lecture for students and travels around Taiwan to screen the film, Voices in the Clouds, at film festivals, museums, and universities, before he gives his lecture. The activities raise awareness about the importance of cultural preservation, and teaches life success skills.

Future Projects

Indigenous Social Network

Indigenous Social Network: The ATAYAL organization will develop an ambitious, new online social network specifically to promote communications between members of the world's indigenous communities. We will not exclude the rest of the world, but we will invite them to join the community of tribes and fellow brothers and sisters. Within the network will be resources to help preserve the knowledge and languages of the world's tribes.

Past Projects

October 15-16, 2004

2004 Indigenous Heritage Festival

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The ATAYAL organization organized the first Indigenous Heritage Festival at the University of Central Florida. The event brought indigenous tribal groups together from around the world, and showcased peformances, workshops, and a film festival. We have the template to be able to reproduce this type of multi-cultural festival anywhere.

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