The guarantee of land and its sustainable use will be the priority topic of discussion among the indigenous peoples attending the Fifth World Social Forum, according to the general coordinator of Indigenous School Instruction of the Brazilian Ministry of Education, Kléber Gesteira.
“What harms the culture of a community is the fact that it lacks quality of life. To the extent that Indians obtain a territory with at least some autonomy, their population grows and their culture is strengthened,” he affirmed.
The Indians are expected to present proposals for the preservation of biodiversity, health, and the education of ethnic groups.
The coordinator said that indigenous instruction is not handled in a uniform manner in the Brazilian states.
“There are states that apply policies in a positive way. They provide equipment to the schools, and the teachers come from the ethnic group itself. But in other parts of the land, educational services remain precarious,” he explained.
He also said that the main challenge facing the Ministry of Education with respect to indigenous instruction is the preparation of teachers “who know the culture traditions and the language and have greater capacity to socialize and educate children.”
The encounter, which will take place in Porto Alegre from January 26 to 31, will be attended by over 400 Indians from Latin America and Brazil, according to the organizers.
Leaders, representatives of organizations of Indian women, and agents who work in the areas of health and education will take part in the debates.
Translation: David Silberstein