BY RICARDO VERDUM FOR DEBATES INDÍGENAS
The National Indian Foundation is an active agent of a political strategy to expose peoples in voluntary isolation to contact with outsiders. The Piripkura people, the Pirititi Indigenous Land and the Ituna Itatá Indigenous Land demonstrate the connivance of the indigenist body with the economic and political power that seeks to profit from their natural resources: agribusiness, logging and illegal mining.
Illegal mining in Yanomami Indigenous Land. Photo: Bruno Kelly / HAY
According to data from the Demographic Census conducted by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics in 2010, the Indigenous population in the country stands at 896,900, distributed among 305 ethnic groups. There are 274 languages spoken, with 37.4% of Indigenous people over the age of five speaking an Indigenous language at home. In turn, the census revealed that 17.5% of Indigenous people do not speak Portuguese while 76.9% do. The largest ethnic group is the Tikúna, accounting for 6.8% of the Indigenous population. Indigenous Peoples are present across all five regions of Brazil but the northern region is home to the largest proportion (342,800), with the smallest number (78,800) living in the south. Of the total number of Indigenous people in Brazil, 502,783 live in rural and 315,180 in urban areas.[i]
BY RICARDO VERDUM FOR DEBATES INDÍGENAS.
In August, ahead of the Federal Supreme Court’s decision regarding the Ibirama - La Klãnõ indigenous land, Brazil witnessed the largest indigenous protest in its history. The experts believe that the Supreme Court’s decision will set an important precedent for territorial rights in the country. While agribusiness and mining companies expect that the court will establish October 5, 1988 as the cut-off date for Indigenous territorial claims, Indigenous Peoples are fighting for the full recognition and protection of their territorial rights.
Photos: Isabelle Araújo y Alass Derivas