Indigenous Peoples

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Indigenous Peoples:


bulletThe indigenous population is comprised of approximately 350,000 individuals.
bulletMake up no more than 0.2% of the population of Brazil
bulletthis is only those living in villages, not those in cities and the groups not yet contacted (indication of at least 53 yet to be contacted)

Indigenous Lands:

bulletBrazil has around 561 areas of indigenous lands.
bulletThe total area of these lands is approximately 98,852,656 hectares (ll.56% of the area of the country)
bullet289 are located in the northern region totaling  83,194,265 hectares (84.18% of total indigenous lands)
bulletRemaining l5.82% are in areas along the northeast, southeast , south and central south areas.
bulletFrom January 95 to July 2000 (under President Cardoso )  82 indigenous lands were declared,(28,043,812 hectares)
bulletll5 lands were ratified (3l,344,576 hectares).
bulletConstitution defines indigenous lands as those that are:
bullet(i) Lived in permanently by one defined community
bullet(ii) Used by them for their productive activities
bullet(iii) Vital for the preservation of the environmental resources necessary for their well-being
bullet(iv) Necessary for their physical and cultural reproduction. The definition of these elements must be made in accordance with indigenous usage, customs and traditions
bulletBoundaries of the indigenous territories should be fixed by the Union



bulletIndigenous rights in Brazil are protected constitutionally and infra-constitutionally
bulletChapter VIII of Article VIII (of the Social Order) in the text of the Constitution recognizes their rights.
bulletFurther substantiated in Articles 231 and 232
bullet<view constitution>
bulletConstitution guarantees:
bulletAcceptance of their social organization, their customs, languages, beliefs and traditions;
bulletThe natural and imprescriptible rights over the lands which they traditionally occupy are considered to be inalienable and untransferable;
bulletPermanent possession of these lands;
bulletThe use of and profits from the riches in the soil, in the rivers and the lakes
bulletIndians must not be moved from their lands under any circumstances except
bulletin case of a disaster or epidemic which could put their population at risk
bulletin the sovereign interest of the country, this being conditional upon the will of the National Congress
bulletTheir return is to be guaranteed in all cases immediately after the risk is over
bulletConstitutional Act declares to be null and void all the Acts which affect the occupation, appropriation, or dominion over the indigenous lands, as well as the exploitation of their natural riches, with the sole exception of acts founded on a relevant public interest of the Union, a matter on which the Constitution itself would send for a ruling from a complementary seat of law
bulletTo participate and be heard in issues pertaining to exploitation of water resources, including energy sources and minerals, existing in indigenous lands.
bulletLaws/regulations pertaining to such issues can only be authorized by the National Congress
bulletTo use their native languages and their own methods of apprenticeship, as well the protection of, and a high regard for, their cultural expression, considering them to be an integral component of the national cultural heritage

Infra-Constitutional Legislation: (need to do more reading still)

bulletIndigenous rights are fundamentally regulated in Law no. 6.001 of 1973 The Statute of the Indian


bulletExecutive took the initiative of putting forward a draft law for the revision of the Statute of the Indian


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 Page created by Will Reichert, member of Team 1.
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Last updated: 10/21/02.