The Awa-Natives of Brazil: Pushed Out…Again

January 31st, 2015  |  Published in Native Rights  | 

“Illegal logging is forcing isolated indigenous people out of their territory again in Maranhao province in northern Brazil, renewing concerns of further deaths from assaults and exposure to western diseases among other things according to Survival International (SI) and other advocates.” R.Kerns, ICTMN

Discussion Questions for this post

Uncontacted Awá Indians Irahoa and two relatives made contact with a settled community. Courtesy Madalena Borges:CIMI-MA

Uncontacted Awá Indians Irahoa and two relatives made contact with a settled community. Courtesy Madalena Borges:CIMI-MA

“SI and FUNAI, Brazil’s national indigenous foundation, reported that three isolated Awa-guaja people appeared in an indigenous Maranhao village in late December as a result of encounters with illegal loggers operating in their territory.
The two women and one adolescent boy were first seen by local Awa people outside the village, according to reports from the religious indigenous advocacy agency known as CIMI, and were taken in by the villagers.

Illegal logging devastates the Awa land.

Illegal logging devastates the Awa land.

While the specific reasons for their arrival are not known, one Awa resident of the Maranhao village said to CIMI official that, They were surrounded by loggers. We heard lots of noise from the chainsaws nearby and the tractors carving roads to transport the wood, and there were many trees marked for felling. So we said Come with us, otherwise the loggers will kill you.’ And they came with us.
This is a strange occurrence, Travassos asserted, since these groups have lived isolated for so many decades, even resisting contact with other Awa-guajas.
While the Brazilian government has taken steps to remove illegal loggers and other invaders from Awa territory, the recent arrival of the Awa-guaja indicates that the problem has not been resolved.”

“They are chopping down wood and they are going to destroy everything. I don’t know how we are going to eat – everything is being destroyed, the whole area. This land is mine, it is ours. They can go away to the city, but we Indians live in the forest. They are going to kill everything. Everything is dying. We are all going to go hungry, the children will be hungry, my daughter will be hungry, and I’ll be hungry too.” ~Pire’i Ma’a~ a member of the Awá

Discussion Questions for this post
  1. In what country do the Awá tribe live?
  2. What are some of the problems the Awa face if they move into the city?
  3. Why are loggers chopping down the trees?
  4. What is the purpose of the CIMI group ?
  5. If they loggers continue to illegally chop down trees what will happen to the Awá natives living there?

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