Manifesto of the first Brazilian women
As originárias da terra: the mother of Brazil is indigenous
We, Indigenous Women, are in many struggles at national and international level. We are seeds planted through our songs for social justice, for the demarcation of territory, for the standing forest, for health, for education, to contain climate change and for the “Healing of the Earth”. Our voices have already broken silences imputed to us since the invasion of our territory.
The Indigenous population of Brazil is made up of 305 Peoples, speaking 274 languages. We are approximately 900 thousand people, 448 thousand of whom are women. We, Indigenous Women, fight for the demarcation of indigenous lands, against the liberation of mining and the leasing of our territories, against the attempt to make environmental licensing more flexible, against the financing of firearms in the countryside. We face the dismantling of indigenous and environmental policies.
Our leaders are in a permanent process of struggle in defence of rights to guarantee our existence, which are our bodies, spirits and territories.
Gathered in the XV Acampamento Terra Livre, in April 2019, we built an organic space for action. We took important agendas to the centre of the debate of the mobilisation that resulted in the first Indigenous Women’s March with the union of 2500 women from 130 peoples, in Brasília, on the International Day of Indigenous Peoples, on 9 August of that year.
The March, with the slogan “Territory: our body, our spirit”, was designed since 2015 as a process of training and strengthening with sustained action of articulation with several movements.
August 2020. One year after the 1st Indigenous Women’s March, we, Indigenous Women from all over Brazil, carried out a historic mobilization! Faced with the worsening of violence to indigenous peoples during the Covid-19 pandemic, we decided to demarcate the screens and carry out the largest mobilization of indigenous women in virtual networks. Thus, on August 7 and 8, our big online assembly took place with the theme “The sacredness of existence and the healing of the earth”.
We, Indigenous Women, are also the Earth, because the Earth is made in us. Through the power of song, we are connected by all the corners, where the enchantments, which are our ancestors, are present. The Earth is sister, is daughter, is aunt, is mother, is grandmother, is womb, is food, is the cure of the world.
How can we remain silent in the face of an attack? Before a Genocide that makes the Earth scream even when we are silent? Because the Earth has many children and a mother cries when she sees, when she feels that the life she has generated is threatened today. But there is still a chance to change this, because we are the healing of the Earth!
In the face of the Pandemic, we created spaces of connection to strengthen the power of the articulation of Indigenous Women, recovering matriarchal values and memories to advance in social claims related to our territories, facing the attempts of extermination of Indigenous Peoples, the attempts of invasion and genocidal exploitation of the territories – actions that have deepened in the context of the pandemic. In this way, we were also able to strengthen the Indigenous movement, adding gender and generational knowledge.
The Indigenous Women assumed a fundamental role in the articulation of the networks of supporters at this moment. In addition to permanently working at the health barriers, women were in front of the strategic constructions of the Territorial, Regional and National plans to fight Covid-19. There are many Indigenous Women with significant roles in contributing to the defense of the rights of Indigenous Peoples – often facing various forms of violence.
Due to the constant violations of rights, deepened in the context of the pandemic, it is urgent to strengthen the contribution of these defenders, qualifying and expanding their actions in spaces of political and decision-making participation and supporting the qualified participation of Indigenous Women as protagonists and multipliers.
We are acting not only in confrontation with Covid-19, but in the line of defence of the “systematic Covid of the Federal Government” and its permanent attacks on indigenous rights.
As a result, it was noted the need to advance even more, to strengthen our organizational capacities, with ways to formalize this articulation of ANMIGA, including strategic planning and the functioning of our networks.
We are many, we are multiple, we are a thousand-women, cacicas, midwives, witchdoctors, shamans, farmers, teachers, lawyers, nurses and doctors in the multiple sciences of the Territory and the university. We are anthropologists, parliamentarians and psychologists. We are many, moving from the ground of the village to the ground of the world.
Women earth, women water, women biomes, women spirituality, women trees, women roots, women seeds and not only women, warriors of ancestry.