Brazilian Indians Granted Land on Indigenous People’s Day

Five indigenous lands had their bounds officially confirmed April 19, when the "Day of Indigenous People" is celebrated in Brazil.

The lands in question are the following ones: Arara do Igarapé Humaitá, in the state of Acre; Barreirinha and Kuruaya, in the state of Pará; Rio Omerê, in the state of Rondônia and Inawébohona, in the state of Tocantins.

Of all these lands, Inawébohona is the largest one and has a large historical record of conflicts. Located on the Bananal Island, in the Araguaia river, state of Tocantins, the Javaé, Karajá and Avá-Canoeiro indigenous peoples live in it.

Declared an indigenous land by the Ministry of Justice in 2001, the process to have its bounds officially confirmed was referred to the president for his signature on April 18, 2005 by Minister Márcio Thomaz Bastos. But the land was not homologated and the respective procedures were stalled.

The process did not reach the Office of the President of the Republic and was sent back to Funai. After many visits to Brasí­lia of indigenous people who live in the land to pressure the president of Funai to conclude the procedure, the land finally had its bounds officially confirmed.

Inawébohona is affected by the encroaching of the Araguaia National Park on it, which creates problems for the communities in their daily life, since the existence of the Park imposes restrictions on the use of its space by indigenous people.

Through the homologating decree, it was defined that the national park will be jointly managed by the National Foundation for Indigenous People (Funai), the Brazilian environmental agency, Ibama, and the indigenous communities that live on the Island.

Through the action of the Federal Prosecutor’s Office, a meeting was scheduled for May 30 to define arrangements for the Park’s management. 

Assembly

The Coordinating Board of Indigenous Organizations of the Brazilian Amazon Region (Coiab) held its 8th General Assembly in the Maturuca village, located in the Raposa Serra do Sol land, on April 2006.

According to Coiab, that location was selected as a "gesture of solidarity towards indigenous peoples of the region, who one year after the bounds of their land was officially confirmed are still facing threats from invaders, who have not been removed from the indigenous land by the Government so far, as provided for in a presidential decree."

Cimi – Indianist Missionary Council – www.cimi.org.br

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