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
BY CONRADO OCTAVIO FOR DEBATES INDÍGENAS.
The Brazilian Amazon has the largest number of peoples living in isolation and initial contact in the world. Their livelihoods and territories are under pressure, threatened by forest depredation, mining, agribusiness, infrastructure projects and extremist missionaries. The situation has deteriorated under the government of Jair Bolsonaro and with the arrival of the pandemic. The mobilization of Indigenous and civil society organizations is essential to resist setbacks in the protection of these peoples.