Today, April 19, which is Indian Day in Brazil, Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva presented an assessment of what the government has done for the Indians.
In his view, Indians have been treated as Brazilian citizens, with a right to land, education, health, and electricity.
The president participated in the inauguration of the Light for All program on the Guarita Indian reservation in the municipality of Tenente Portela, in the southern Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul.
Electricity will give the reservation’s 7,500 Kaingang and Guarani Indians the chance the improve their production of corn, beans, tobacco, soybeans, vegetables, and wheat.
They intend to buy refrigerators to conserve and sell milk and dairy products. The total investment on the electrification project amounted to US$ 1.17 million.
In his speech the president referred to what the government has done in the past three years for the indigenous community, such as a 40% increase in the number of openings for Indians in schools and a US$ 9.3 million investment last year on basic sanitation projects in 297 villages.
According to Lula, 19,000 Indian families receive the Family Grant, which is the federal government’s foremost income transfer program.
The secretary of Identify and Cultural Diversity (SID), Sérgio Maberti, is handing the minister of Culture, Gilberto Gil, a report prepared by the Indian Work Group (GTI) on priority actions to valorize indigenous cultures.
This initiative is part of Indigenous Culture Week, which began Monday, April 17, and ends Thursday, April 20, in the Ministry of Culture.
The GTI was created on April 19, 2005, to debate and propose government policies related to indigenous cultures. The effort is intended to contribute to the recognition of the diversity, particularities, and the cultural worth of indigenous traits.
The final outcome desired by the GTI is to stimulate reflection on Brazilian diversity and foster the building of self-esteem, ethics, and the valorization of the cultural formation of social groups with their own organizational characteristics, thus contributing to citizenship and cultural rights.