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Personal profile

Curriculum vitae

Grace I-An Gao (BA National Taiwan University; MA University of Helsinki) is a PhD candidate at the Doctoral Programme in Political, Societal and Regional Change at the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Helsinki. Her research concerns how long-term care system accommodates aging Indigenous Peoples’ cultural and self-government claims, using Taiwan as a case.

During her BA, Grace has visited Peking University as student representative from political science department at the National Taiwan University. During her MA, Grace has worked as an intern at the Northern Institute for Environmental and Minority Law at the Arctic Center in Rovaniemi and as a collaborative researcher at National Chengchi University (NCCU) in Taipei. For four years, she has been actively participating United Nations Permanent Forum on the Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) as NGO delegate from Taiwan Indigenous Peoples. She was awarded SUPRA scholarship from Nordic Institute of Asian Studies (NIAS) June-July 2017. 

Grace is currently affliated to the Centre for Research on Ethnic Relations and Nationalism (CEREN) and is working as a doctoral student under the Swedish School of Social Science (2018-2020). In addition, she received grant from Finnish Cultural Foundation (2017-2019) for the topic alkuperäiskansojen vanhustenhoito Suomessa ja Taiwanissa.

Description of research and teaching

My research deals with Indigenous Peoples and how indigeneity is tackled in the policy framing in the context of long-term care. In doing so, the research aims to contribute to a more profound understanding of how social and cultural rights can be accommodated as far as Indigenous Peoples are concerned. The main case study for the study is Taiwan and Tayal Indigenous people, with critical reflection drawn from the Sámi and Finland.

In 2017, I taught an online course pertaining to Indigenous ways of knowing in the context of a course "Sustainability and Social Work" at MacEwan University, Canada. In the Spring of 2018, I taught two intensive courses concerning Taiwan Indigenous Peoples in Austronesia in Palacký University, Czech Republic. In Autumn 2018, I will be co-organizing a couple of courses/mentoring targetting for the students in the Ethnic Relations, Cultural Diveristy and Integration (ERI) program and Master's Programme in Contemporary Societies (COS).

I am a cultural entrepreneur and an educator. I have been teaching Mandarin Chinese to children and adults in a local Finnish start-up company in Helsinki since 2016. I have extensive experience in freelance interpreting (Mandarin Chinese-English) and hosting events.


  • 517 Political science
  • indigenous peoples
  • Long-term care
  • comparative politics
  • self-determination
  • decolonization
  • social rights
  • cultural rights
  • 5141 Sociology
  • anthropology
  • knowledge
  • indigenous politics
  • critical ethnography
  • power
  • health
  • care
  • 5145 Social work
  • community building
  • indigenous sovereignty
  • indigenous social work
  • trauma and healing

International and National Collaboration Publications and projects within past five years.

Publications 2012 2019

Book Reviews: Helander-Renvall, Elina. Sámi Society Matters

Gao, I-A., Feb 2019, In : Suomen Antropologi. 43, 2, p. 121-123 3 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature review (scientific)Scientificpeer-review

Open Access

Efforts and Concerns for Indigenous Language Education in Taiwan

Gao, I-A., Lin, C-F. & Lin, P-I., 29 Mar 2019, (Accepted/In press) Handbook of Indigenous Education. McKinley, E. A. & Smith, L. T. (eds.). Springer

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review

Indigenous Peoples’ Self-determination and Long-term Care: Sápmi and Nunavut

Gao, I-A., 2018, In : Social Work and Policy Studies: Social Justice, Practice and Theory. 1, 1, p. 1-40 40 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalOther articlesScientificpeer-review

Open Access

Worthy Lives and Building Homes

Gao, I-A., 15 May 2018, 8 p. Rasisminvastainen tutkijaverkosto.

Research output: Other contributionResearchpeer-review

Open Access

Projects 2019 2022


Chancellor's Travel Grant

I-An Wasiq Gao (Recipient), 13 Apr 2017

Prize: Prizes and awards

Chancellor's Travel Grant

I-An Wasiq Gao (Recipient), 18 Oct 2017

Prize: Prizes and awards

Chancellor's Travel Grant

I-An Wasiq Gao (Recipient), 2016

Prize: Prizes and awards

International Student Grant

I-An Wasiq Gao (Recipient), 2014

Prize: Prizes and awards

Activities 2012 2019

The World Indigenous Nations Higher Education Consortium

I-An Wasiq Gao (Attendee)
29 Jul 20192 Aug 2019

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesOrganisation and participation in conferences, workshops, courses, seminars

Ageing men and their social relationships

I-An Grace Gao (Attendee)
26 Mar 201927 Mar 2019

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesOrganisation and participation in conferences, workshops, courses, seminars

From Multiple-factor classification to Ecological care: Walking across boundaries

I-An Grace Gao (Speaker)
20 May 2019

Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation

Re-searching Care Policies for the Indigenous Elders

I-An Wasiq Gao (Speaker)
7 Aug 2019

Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation

Press / Media

My Multicultural Encounter in Finland: A Taiwanese Researcher's Standpoint

I-An Wasiq Gao, Lucy Tung, Huan-Ya Chen-Ketonen, Chia-Enn Li, Hongda Lin, Chien-Ting Jessie Hsu & Teemu Reisbacka


5 media contributions

Press/Media: Press / Media

Active Volunteering in the Local Community

I-An Wasiq Gao & Minerva Liu


1 item of media coverage

Press/Media: Press / Media