Brazilian Indians Have no Voice on Matters Concerning Themselves

Fourteen indigenous lands in Brazil had their bounds officially confirmed on October 27, totaling 2,337,883 hectares. The decrees ratifying the bounds of those lands were signed by Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in a ceremony held at the Planalto Palace (the presidential palace). 

In the same ceremony, an agreement was signed between the ministries of Justice and of Land Development transferring to the National Land Reform Institute (Incra) the responsibility for re-settling squatters covered by the land reform program who live in indigenous lands.


Cimi, Brazil’s Indianist Missionary Council, recognizes the importance of the official confirmation of the bounds of these 14 indigenous lands, but it insists that the indigenous policy should not be limited to acts.


Much is yet to be done for defining a sound indigenous policy, particularly for allowing indigenous people to participate in the formulation of such policy.


Unfortunately, other actions of the federal administration tend to jeopardize their participation in this process.


An example of this fact is the existence of a draft document setting up an Interministerial Working Group (GTI) charged with “defining priority actions for implementing the governmental indigenous policy and monitoring its implementation,” as indicated in its text.


The GTI does not include representatives of the main stakeholders: the indigenous peoples themselves and their organizations.


According to that document, the only role they would play is that of being consulted in relation to the execution of public policies designed for indigenous populations, without any participation in their formulation.


Therefore, the entities representing indigenous people will only be consulted by the GTI in connection with the Action Plan it will develop, its review, the actions it will attach priority to, and its implementation schedule.


www.cimi.org.br
Cimi ”“ Indianist Missionary Council

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