Brazil – Terra Livre Camp 2019. For three days (24-26 April 2019), Brazilian Indigenous Peoples from five regions and Indigenous Peoples from other countries, including the representatives of PEREMPUAN AMAN (Association of Indigenous Women of The Archipelago – Indigenous Peoples Alliance of the Archipelago), Program and Communication Director, Muntaza, and Silvia Motoh came together to demand an acknowledgment of their rights over indigenous lands and territories.
Approximately 3,000 indigenous individuals, women, and men, youth and elders, attended this annual event. The goal of this camp is to provide a new narrative from the perspective of Indigenous Women and youth in their struggle to gain their rights as Indigenous Peoples over Indigenous Territories.
Besides, Brazilian Indigenous Women also campaigned on the need to stop the abuse against women. They also encouraged anyone who knows, witnesses, or experiences to report the case immediately.
In terms of legality, Muntaza said that even though the presence of Brazilian Indigenous Peoples are acknowledged, their rights over indigenous land and territories are not.
“Their rights over their indigenous land and territories are not yet acknowledged. The Brazilian government has not started to map the indigenous territories of Brazilian Indigenous Peoples,” explained her after returning from Brazil in Rumah Perempuan AMAN, Thursday (02/05/2019).
The first day, 24 April 2019 in Terra Livre Camp, the delegations introduced themselves and also explained about the ongoing situations, including challenges as faced by the Indigenous Women, as Muntaza did.
Inspiring Indigenous Women
One of the inspiring Indigenous Women from Brazil in this event is Sônia Bone Guajajara. With a short figure, Muntaza explained how Sônia is one of the influential leaders of Brazilian Indigenous Peoples.
Sônia Bone Guajajara, the Indigenous Woman who leads Indigenous Peoples in Brazil.
Although the leadership among the Indigenous Peoples in Brazil is a male-dominated area, Aline Hond, one of the Indigenous Women in Brazil, said that Sônia had acquired high respect from her community. Her work and struggle to accommodate the rights of Indigenous Peoples in both national and global levels. Hence, her figure is undoubtedly significant for Indigenous Peoples, particularly Indigenous Women in Brazil.
In the opening session of Terra Livre Camp, this Indigenous Women from Guajajara emphasized the importance of Indigenous Women in the struggle of Indigenous Peoples to acquire acknowledgment from the state over their rights of Indigenous Territories.
“We will not be surrender! We are the owners of the indigenous territories!” as she emphasized multiple times in her oration.
Peaceful Rally of Brazilian Indigenous Women in Terra Livre Camp
By the last day of the camp, Muntaza, as the delegate of PEREMPUAN AMAN, Indonesia, had a chance to deliver a speech in front of the Brazilian Indigenous Peoples. She went to the podium with Indigenous Women from Panama, Honduras, Peru, French Guiana, and Guatemala.
In her oration, Muntaza said that we are the Guardians of Indigenous Forest and the Guardians of the Indigenous Territories. “Show them that Indigenous Women are stronger and are more capable of contributing to catering the needs of the Indigenous Peoples. God(s) and Ancestors are protecting us.”
Each delegate then delivered their messages to show solidarity to the effort of Brazilian Indigenous People on demanding the acknowledgment of their legal rights over their indigenous lands and territories. Mainly, they showed sympathy to the Indigenous Women to be always in spirit to be in the front guard of the fight.
It is expected for us to see Indigenous Women having leading roles in the movement of Indigenous Peoples after Terra Livre Camp. Hopefully, the meeting of Indigenous Women in this event was not only for the upcoming Women’s March in August 2019 but also to give a chance for the Indigenous Women to self-organize making long-term strategic plans for the movement.
If not us, then who else?