(Indian Day 19/04)
The Amerindian, in a number of 42 million in the America discovery time, almost the same number of European, are not more than around 300.000 nowadays, mainly in the Amazonian region.
Ignored by cultures and dominant countries, they are desperately facing their biggest challenge: preserve their last territorial resources and stop the advance of non-Indian population, as they call us.
After living in harmony with natural resources, they have seen the beginning of their nation's decline, because in these four centuries, million of them were dead by the conquestors that were looking for gold, million of them were dead by the desire on the land. At the end of this century, because of the wood's extrativism, surely a lot of them will be dead, because without forests they will not survive. Just at the first half of this century, Brazil has lost 87 tribes, as said by Worldwatc Institute (Life`s quality. 1993, Lester R.Brown, org., ed.Globo,p.120) and in few years more tan 100 thousand Indians were exterminated in Guatemala, just for exposing some examples.
Besides this situation and Indian's rights have been discussioned in the Environment and Development Conference, Rio 92, as object of studies and recommendation in the II World Human Rights Conference, Vienna, 1993, that has included this group as vulnerable; besides a lot of NGOs have being working for their preservation, and our Federal Constitution that that recognizes Indian cultures and determines their protection by the Union, a little has been done for protecting them.
In the last years the Indian subject has been becoming important in Brazil, mainly by the growing importance of Amazonian Rain Forest as one of the last natural stronghold on the Earth, still little explored. Truly, the discussion about Indian politics and the own Indian only had this growing importance because of the economical speculation that is viewed in the Amazonian region. This is pitiful, because the situation and destiny of a lot of Indians just started to be noticed by the means of communication and the whole society from the development of economical interests.
Now the size of the Indian's reserves is being discussed, notably the Yanomanis ones, having a lot of interested people in reducing by the pretext that they do not need too much land. In the truth there are a lot of economical interests that relapse on their land.
So, the Indian subject is still far from having the recognizing of Brazilian society and the attention that it deserves.
Mainly reasons for the extermination of Indian communities
- lack of concrete legal protection in most all of the countries;
- desire for their natural resources;
- lack of information about their cultural rich;
- their inferiority status;
- exhaustion of natural resources in the developed countries, and
- demographic and industrial expansion of our civilization.
All of these reasons are obliging the "forest peoples" for big territorial moving, making them looking for a refugee in the "world's end", where they are with no exits.
Perhaps Brazil is the only country in the world where maybe there are Indian communities that live isolated from the called civilized societies.
There are diverse groups and subgroups that represent twelve different peoples, and that are constituted in one of the biggest cultural patrimonies of humanity, because of its importance in anthropological history.
These groups of Indians live in a region known as Javarí River, in the limits of Amazonas and Peru, and in the last demographic census in the region, 3.858 Indian were counted (Instituto Socioambiental, Povos Indígenas no Brasil- 1991/1995, p. 335).
The isolated Indians, their culture and communities are, no doubt, formed by national patrimony, which is protected by the Brazilian Federal Constitution. More than that, their protection must have international attention by administrative and political steps, besides monetary help of humanity character entities.
So, considering cultural and ethnical Indian aspects and our legislation, we can conclude that they have a truly right of isolation. This right must be observed and guaranteed by the State. It couldn't be denied for them the right of living as independent communities into their territories, which they have the possession for long years, and also guaranteed by the law. This way, Brazilian indigenist politics must observe the right of the isolated Indians, for they living peacefully and with cultural integrity and their forests.
Thinking about this subject we can concluded that without the authorities conscious, political desire and without a really protective legislation and effectively applied, Indian communities will be fatally being extinct by the development desire.
Sites sobre o tema
Adaptação de Mitos
Almanaque ZAZ/ índios
Atelier Origem Brasil
Conferencia Permanente de los Pueblos Indígenas del Peru
Conselho Indigenista Missionário
Cultura dos Guaranis do Paraguai
Dia do Índio
Enciclopédia da Amazônia - Amazonlife
Funai - Fundação Nacional do Índio
Índio s 2000
Índios Camaiurás e Urubus-Caapor
Índios de Minas Gerais
Índios do Brasil
Índios do Brasil - De 1500 aos Dias de Hoje
Índios do Brasil - Uma História Pouco Conhecida
Instituto de Desenvolvimento das Tradições Indígenas
Instituto de Estudos Sócio-Econômicos
Instituto Socioambiental (ISA)
Kamayurá e Urubu Kaapor Website
Memórias - Fotografia História Índios Guarani
Museu do Índio - Funai
Museu do Índio - Uberlândia
Página do Idioma Tupi Antigo
Programa de Índio
The Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander Comission
- I International Lecture of Amazon and Grande Chaco Isolated Indians, Belém, Pará, Brazil, from November, 08th to 11st, 2005
We have participed from the I International Lecture of Amazon and Grande Chaco Isolated Indians, that occured in Belém, Pará, Brazil, with the organization from CGII - Coordenação Geral de Índios Isolados - Funai (Isolated Indians General Coordination), and by Centro de Trabalho Indigenista (CTI) - Indians Work Center. There were isolated people from these regions (Brazil, Peru, Colombia, Ecuador, Bolivia and Paraguai) and also representants drom a dozen of institutions all over the world, resulting in the creation of the International Alliance for Isolate Indians Peoples and also a final document named "Belém's Letter", which obliges that the States, where these Indians live, have protective actions for their security and culture. It is also proposed that that the countries respect the rights of non-contact with whose who want to be isolated.
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