Our international solidarity journey was organized in support of Indigenous rights in Brazil and in opposition to the landmark case against the Xokleng people that is in the Brazilian Supreme Court (see more information below). The solidarity journey happened from 24 to 27 October. It was organized by Teia das 5 Curas, a network of Indigenous communities in Brazil, Peru, Mexico and Canada, which is associated with the GTDF collective. The ruling was postponed, but we will continue our solidarity campaign to raise awareness about how this case threatens the lands and lives of a large number of Indigenous communities in Brazil.
For our solidarity journey, the Indigenous communities in our network asked us to organize a series of live sessions where people could be together each day for about one hour, witnessing Indigenous ancestral ceremonies and songs. This was an invitation for us all to connect through our bodies, our senses, and our ancestors. These sessions aimed to remind us of our political and spiritual responsibilities to each other, to Indigenous peoples, and to the land as a living entity.
We received permission from the communities to record the sessions and make them public . The usual protocol is for ceremonies not to be recorded, let alone posted online. However, in this case, both the Huni Kui and Tremembé people who held full ceremonies at the beginning and end of the solidarity journey, granted permission for the recordings to be made public because of the seriousness of the situation and the need for healing to be extended to all those who are called to witness the ceremonies, even after they have taken place.
These ceremonies and songs were offered in the spirit of collective healing: the healing of our thoughts, our feelings, our relations, our exchanges and of the planet, mother Earth. Please watch each one with reverence and respect for the intention of the communities.
We have also organized a crowdfunding for rural internet access for the most remote communities of the network in the Amazon region. Access to rural internet has proven to be a significant deterrent of territorial invasions by cattle ranchers in the most remote regions of the Amazon where Indigenous communities experience greater vulnerability because of lack of access to fast communication. We raised CAD6500 for three communities.
The recordings can also be accessed at:
Information about the landmark case
The Supreme Court in Brazil will be ruling on a landmark case that may lead to thousands of Indigenous people losing their lands and potentially their lives. The case specifically affects the Xokleng Indigenous people and their territory. If the Xokleng people lose their lands in this case, it will have repercussions for all Indigenous peoples throughout Brazil, as it sets a precedent for numerous other cases of Indigenous land rights.
Beyond the legal implications, a ruling against the Xokleng people will encourage further, unprecedented violence against Indigenous people. Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro was elected on an openly anti-Indigenous, pro-mining, pro-agrobusiness, pro-logging platform.
Bolsonaro has repeatedly been extremely offensive and violent towards indigenous culture and life, disseminating fake news such as blaming indigenous people for the recent fires in the Amazon and Pantanal regions, as well as publicly stating they should have been exterminated long ago, and those that are left should be thankful to be assimilated.
If the court rules against the constitutional rights of the Xokleng, it will threaten existing Indigenous rights, including reversing existing land demarcation. Legal analysts and Indigenous rights activists say that in the current political climate, it is extremely likely that the court will rule against the Xokleng, and that this is a life and death situation. Indigenous activists have also warned that this ruling is part of a government plan to use the COVID-19 pandemic to undermine Brazil’s Constitution, remove environmental protections and open the Amazon to further deforestation and economic exploitation.
Indigenous people have issued a call for unity and international solidarity to support their rights to life, to their traditional and ancestral territories, and to their cultural identities. However, they also emphasize that this struggle is not just a struggle for themselves and their land, but also a struggle for the possibility of continued life on the planet.