The Maori tribal people trace their ancestral roots about a thousand years ago to a legendary island named Hawaiki. It is said they traveled a great distance to Aotearoa (New Zealand) in 40 waka canoes.
A 501(c)(3) non-profit organization serving indigenous communities.

Building bridges for cultural exchange

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The Tap Root Cultural Exchange Program is made possible by an experienced group of organizers.

ATAYAL ATAYAL - This organization is a 501(C)3 non-profit organization registered in the USA in 2001 with a mission of international indigenous cultural exchange. ATAYAL is the main international organizer of the project and is responsible for organizing, communications and fundraising outside of Taiwan.
Bridge Studios Bridge Studios - This creative services agency is the main organizer in Taiwan. The company based in Tainan, Taiwan will be responsible for organizing, communications, and fundraising in Taiwan. The company will also document the experiences of the participants to produce a documentary film. The staff of Bridge Studios has supported the ATAYAL organization for many years facilitating communications, translation and interpretation for cultural exchange projects.
Rangi Association Rangi Association - This is a volunteer organization in Taiwan that serves indigenous communities. Volunteers from the Rangi Association will participate in this exchange program.
Tony Coolidge Tony Coolidge - Executive Director - Tony Coolidge is founder of the Tap Root Cultural Exchange Program. He is also the founder of ATAYAL and co-founder of Bridge Studios. He is a Taiwanese-American entrepreneur, writer, and journalist living in Tainan, Taiwan. Tony has been the business owner or multimedia and Internet companies since 1995, including, Proactive Media, and HybridWeb. He is an advocate of cultural exchange between indigenous peoples of the world. Tony earned a Bachelor's of Science in Advertising from the University of Texas in Austin in 1992.
Shu-min Coolidge Shu-min Coolidge - Treasurer - Shu-min Coolidge is the co-founder of Bridge Studios in Tainan, Taiwan. She is an experienced translator and business owner. Mrs. Coolidge has been a professional Chinese/English working in the USA for ten years on projects for large companies in Orlando, Florida. She taught Chinese language to honors students at the University of Central Florida and to members of the Orlando Magic organization. Shu-min earned a Bachelor's Degree from the Tamkang University of Tamsui, Taiwan.
Sophie Chang Su-an (Sophie) Chang - Communications Director - Sophie Chang is a professional translator and interpretor living in Hualien, Taiwan. Miss Chang spends a lot of her time volunteering for NGO's, especially for groups helping the indigenous tribes of Taiwan. She worked as a research assistant at Academia Sinica before starting her own freelance translation business. Sophie is currently a lecturer at National Dong Hwa University. Miss Chang received her Master's Degree at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland.
Henry Liao Hong-i (Henry) Liao - Grant Writer, Translator - Henry Liao is an entrepreneur living in Taipei, Taiwan. Mr. Liao has years of experience networking with business owners and government agencies in Taiwan and the USA. He received a Bachelor's Degree in Finance from Florida International University.
Cheryl Robbins Cheryl Robbins - Tour Consultant - Cheryl Robbins is an American living in Taiwan and a licensed tour guide. More importantly, Ms. Robbins is one of the most notable experts on indigenous tourism, having written published several books on the topic. Her latest book is A Foreigner's Travel Guide to Taiwan's Indigenous Areas: Central and Southern Taiwan. She also has an e-commerce web site, Tribe-Asia, that supports the arts and crafts of the indigenous people of Taiwan.
Tobie Openshaw Tobie Openshaw - Video Producer - Tobie Openshaw is a South African filmmaker living in Taiwan and is a film producer for the exchange program. With many years of production experience internationally, his work has been seen on documentary channels such as National Geographic, Discovery, and Al Jazeera. Mr. Openshaw will oversee a team that is producing a documentary film about the students involved in this program.

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