Manifesto Letter of the 1st Seminar of the Originary Women of the Earth

On October 15 and 16, 2022, the Earth, Roots, Seeds and Water Women* of the National Articulation of Indigenous Women Warriors of Ancestry (ANMIGA) gathered in Brasilia to hold the First Seminar of the Originary Women of the Earth.

The 62 indigenous women present at the meeting represent national, regional, local and international leaders of the movement who gathered at this moment to share their struggles, life stories and strengthen the union between indigenous women from all over the planet.

We thank and celebrate the presence and participation of the 4 Water Women (international) iconic leaders of their countries, who expand the solidarity connection between women in the global struggle for their territories, knowledge, their bodies and sciences. They are: Elisa Loncón (Chile), Engracia Perez Castro (Mexico), Rosita Aguilar (Mexico), Celestina Castillo (Mexico).

The year 2022 was marked by struggles and historic victories for the indigenous women’s movement, a year of challenges that demanded that the Warriors advance along their paths, often in different directions, but never diverging.

ANMIGA assumed its commitment with the indigenous women from all ecossystems, and even in a context of increasing violence against their bodies, territories and spirits, carried out the Caravan of the Originary Women of the Earth and occupied the institutional politics based on the victory of the Federal Deputies of the Bancada do Cocar.

The Caravan of the Originary Women was built through 18 meetings in 14 Brazilian states, directly reaching 846 indigenous women and extending its impact to more than 5 thousand indigenous women indirectly. Opening space for sharing and debate, among indigenous women, their stories, experiences, struggles and for building ties and relationships among them in order to strengthen and empower them also in their territories.

The Bancada do Cocar (Cocar Caucus), built by indigenous women as a political platform for institutional occupation, had 7 women candidates as Federal Deputies and 10 candidates as State Deputies.  The number of Indigenous women candidates in Election 2022 accounts for the growth of Indigenous people disputing the election since 2014: women’s participation registered a 193% increase from 29 to 85 candidates. The growth of male candidates in that period was 80.35%.

The indigenous presence and performance in the House of Representatives began with Mário Juruna, continued years later by Joênia Wapichana. We highlight the importance of Joênia’s mandate, the first indigenous woman federal deputy who occupied and expanded the political space for institutional participation and direct incidence on national debates for indigenous women. In 2022, the indigenous women inaugurated a new civilizing framework for Brazilian society, starting with the successful election of two more indigenous women supported by the collective construction of their political proposals articulated through ANMIGA.

The victory of the Bancada do Cocar is expressed in the election of two federal deputies, Sônia Guajajara, with more than 157 thousand votes in São Paulo, and Célia Xakriabá with more than 100 thousand votes in Minas Gerais, and also in the expressive votes received by the other candidates, who even though not yet elected, arrive at this moment strengthened, powerful and confident of their roles and political spaces to be conquered also in the various scales of institutional power.

The Indigenous Warriors candidates in 2022 faced several scenarios of violence and institutional racism during their campaigns. Electoral and party processes, traditionally conservative, sexist and racist, have reinforced their barriers to women’s participation.

Even in the face of the absence or scarcity of resources for their campaigns, the erasure of their protagonism by the parties, the direct and indirect attacks and also the lack of support from sexist sectors of the indigenous movement itself, Indigenous Women celebrate their collective victory and reaffirm their commitment to the occupation of politics also in the municipal elections.

The journey and struggle of indigenous women, now with direct incidence in the legislative power through the work of Sonia and Celia, continues rooted in the territories and in the bases of the indigenous women’s movement through the work of ANMIGA, which through the Caravan of the Originary Women strengthened and empowered the network of women’s organizations in their territories and communities.

We are ancestral women, reforesting our minds, to the sound of our voices, songs, prayers and maracas, we continue to inhabit politics in an election year where our bodies continue to suffer violently the consequences of anti-indigenous politics in Brazil. We continue rooting the Bancada do Cocar, nourished by the land, and multiplied by seeds.

For a more humane Brazil for the indigenous women, for the standing forests, for the rivers, for our people we cry out!

Land back NOW!

Brasilia, 16 October 2022

ANMIGA is composed of indigenous women from their scales of action and articulation. The Rooted Women are the women who articulate at the territorial level; Seed Women are the women who articulate at the state level; Earth Women are the women who articulate at the level of Brazilian biomes; and finally, Water Women are the women at the international level.