They are not alone! Between songs, dances, prayers, headdresses, maracas and many colors, the federal deputy Célia Xakriabá (PSOL-MG) (learn more in the box at the end of the news) and the Minister of Indigenous Peoples, Sonia Guajajara (PSOL-SP), were blessed by the grace of the “biome-women” during an ancestral inauguration ceremony, at the Indigenous Policy Training Center of the National Foundation for Indigenous Peoples (Funai), in Sobradinho (DF). The celebration took place in parallel with the official inauguration of the parliamentarians, in the Chamber of Deputies, and was part of the schedule of the Pre-March of Indigenous Women, which took place from January 29 to February 1.
The event was organized by the National Articulation of Indigenous Women Warriors of Ancestrality (ANMIGA), in partnership with the Mission Council among Indigenous Peoples (Comin). In a demonstration of support for the candidacy and election of Xakriabá and Guajajara, ANMIGA “finished” the ritual it started, still in the pre-campaign, to strengthen female candidacies through the Bancada do Cocar initiative. The ceremony also celebrated Guajajara's appointment as Minister of Indigenous Peoples.
Puyr Tembé, mobilizer and organizer of the Indigenous Women's March, activist, leader and now the first secretary of the Indigenous Peoples of Pará, spoke of the importance of ANMIGA in the election of the Bancada do Cocar. “We not only encouraged, we not only gave strength to both Célia and Sonia, but to many other women (...). They had the courage not just for themselves, but for this strength that comes from all territories of Brazil”.
ANMIGA made several caravans through the Brazilian biomes talking about the axis of the indigenous campaign. “And we want to continue the caravan of women from the land, so that we can have more women in 2026, building more municipalities, more states and more 'Brazils'', she declared.
The mobilizer and organizer of the women's march, activist, leader and secretary of the state of Pará, Puyr Tembé, talks about the importance of @AnmigaOrg in the election of the Bancada do Cocar.— socioenvironmental (@socioambiental) February 1, 2023
📹 Carol Fasolo/ISA pic.twitter.com/La4nJESRPs
"We started the day today with a lot of emotion, with a lot of strength and with a lot of joy", said Guajajara, during breakfast organized at the Darcy Ribeiro Memorial, at the University of Brasília (UnB), to start the day dedicated to his ancestral possession and that of his “very close” companion in the fight, Célia Xakriabá. "It is indeed a historic day, it is a day that marks a new moment in the history of indigenous peoples", said the Minister of Indigenous Peoples
Moved, she remembered with the indigenous women present the moments of struggle and mobilization, the Terra Livre Camp (which takes place annually in the federal capital), marches and even races on the lawns of Brasília, fleeing police repression. “There is no way to look at each one that is here and not remember these moments”, she said with affection.
“The fight that we do faces many powerful people. The attempts to silence are permanent, the attempts to intimidate us are permanent and the violence against indigenous peoples does not stop. Look what the Bolsonaro government was like: a genocidal project to wipe out indigenous peoples”, said Guajajara, when mentioning the situation of humanitarian crisis faced by the Yanomami and violence against other indigenous peoples in Brazil.
The minister also recalled the trajectory and struggle of the first indigenous federal deputy and now the first indigenous woman president of Funai, joenia wapichana, who takes office this Friday (3), at the Memorial dos Povos Indígenas, in Brasília. "We're going to bring even more and more women into those places of power."
Wapichana was present at the ancestral possession and spoke about the reconstruction of a country that needs to recognize and consider indigenous peoples and women. “I end [the mandate] with great joy, because what we left out of legislative proposals, Celinha [Xakriabá] will continue to defend, our friends will continue to defend, the movements will continue to defend. I leave with a clear conscience.”
In the midst of many speeches by the indigenous women present, “women-land”, “women-biomes”, as they are called by ANMIGA, indigenous women from the states of the Amazon came to the pre-march to demonstrate support for the Bancada do Cocar, declare that they are not alone and legitimize trust in the work of the elected relatives. “We came bringing our strength of ancestry. We are the bow and you are the arrows” said Edna Shanenawa, one of the representatives of the indigenous women of the Amazon.
With the “prayer” of protection of the “root women” to defend the rights of the indigenous peoples with great force, the secretary of the Indigenous Peoples of Pará, Puyr Tembé, also received the blessings; the secretary of the Indigenous Peoples of Ceará, Juliana Jenipapo Kanindé; the secretary of Environmental and Indigenous Territorial Rights, Eunice Keretxu, and the executive secretary of the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples, Eloy Terena, in addition to the secretary of Indigenous Health, Weibe Tapeba.
Throughout the day of the ancestral inauguration, Sonia and Célia were joined by the ministers of Racial Equality and of the Environment and Climate Change, Anielle Franco and Marina Silva, respectively, in a walk held on the lawn in front of the National Congress.
The Minister of Women, Cida Gonçalves, and the First Lady, Janja Lula da Silva, also attended the ceremony.
Gonçalves placed the Ministry of Women at the disposal of indigenous women. “I want to bring the warmth and affection of most Brazilian women, because we believe in you. That Congress will belong to the original peoples with these two mandates”.
Janja, likewise, placed herself as an ally of the cause of indigenous women. “I will walk with them. Find ways for our indigenous girls to no longer suffer from violence. This is also my commitment”.
A letter from ANMIGA was delivered to the first lady with propositions to contribute to improving the lives and guaranteeing the rights of indigenous women in the six biomes of Brazil. The document has eight axes: Protection and Infrastructure in the Territories, Health, Combating Obstetric Violence, Indigenous People Outside the Territory, Access to Justice, Education, Culture, Funai and Planning and Budget.
“We will remain mobilized in the strength of our ancestry, we remain firm in the fight for the lives of women and for our territories in different biomes to rebuild democracy in Brazil. Because it is necessary to resume the public policies of Gender Equality with our participation in the production of policies that dialogue with our specificities: Never again a Brazil without us!", says an excerpt from the letter.
Pre-March of Indigenous Women
The theme of the Pre-March was “Voices of the Ancestry of the six biomes of Brazil” and was a preparatory stage for the construction of the agenda and planning of the 2023rd March of Indigenous Women, which will take place in September, for the “March of Originaries” and for the ATL XNUMX in April.
“It's the flame of the ancestral fire that we bring to this place”, emphasized the co-founder of ANMIGA Célia Xakriabá, during the “ancestral possession”. From an early age, she was interested in knowing what politics was, always questioning the leaders of her village. They said she would go far and become a deputy. “I was laughing. I never thought I would be in this place.”
From there, Xakriabá traced its path to re-signify the traditional white politics, of the jacket and the pen, from the ancestral perspective of poetry, the headdress, the jenipapo, the urucún and the indigenous woman.
“I understand politics when people are participating. I understand politics when people are having a dialogue. I understand politics when they are involved in a life project, and for me it's the best way to do politics. I did not follow the paths of the old traditional Brazilian politics. My first school, my first university was, and still is, the struggle.”