Young Indians Threaten to Demarcate Land If Brazil Doesn’t Do It

Brazilian Indians About 300 young people from the Tupinambá, Pataxó Hã-Hã-Hãe, Pataxó and Tuxá (state of Bahia), Tupinikim (state of EspÀ­rito Santo) and Xukuru (state of Pernambuco) peoples gathered at the 3rd seminar of Tupinambá young people at Serra do Padeiro in the state of Bahia from August 31 to September 2.

The Tupinambá people have strengthened their struggle and have been encouraging its young people to organize themselves.

Based on the theme "Organized Youth, Strengthened Community," the meeting discussed the following topics: organization of young people, demarcation of indigenous territories, public policies and challenges faced by the indigenous young people.

"The seminar was successful. Young people participated in it actively and contributed to discussions on topics related to the daily reality faced in the villages," evaluated Magno Santos, a young Tupinambá, one of the event organizers.

As a result of this articulation, a committee made up of nine young people from three villages located in the south region of the state of Bahia was created.

The first activity of this committee will take place on September 21 at Monte Pascoal, when a "Letter of Young Indigenous People" will be drawn up to be sent to both state governments and to the federal government with proposals and claims from young people of the region.

One of the most discussed topics in the seminar and which will be included in the letter is the demarcation of the Tupinambá land.

"We decided that if Funai doesn't solve this problem, indigenous young people will demarcate the territory themselves," declared Magno.

Challenges faced by these  young people today, such as pregnancy during adolescence, sexually transmitted diseases, and drug and alcohol abuse also drew the attention of the participants.

"We want the government to take a policy position in relation to these issues," said the Tupinambá youth.

An important victory of the youth organization was a proposal to set up a committee of young indigenous people to join the Apoinme (Cooperation of Indigenous Peoples from the Northeast region, the state of Minas Gerais and the state of Espí­rito Santos.)

Representatives from Apoinme who were present at the seminar said that, from next year on, this committee will become part of the entity.

CIMI – Indianist Missionary Council

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