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  • Day of the Indian

    from Part 3, Ch.6 This Land is not for Sale

    "Today, the 19th of April, is the day dedicated to the Indians all over Brazil We know neither when nor why the Day of the Indian was created, but we wish to take advantage of the opportunity to make public our message of the Day of the Indian.

    First we want to say that the 22nd of April 1500, when Pedro Alvares Cabral stepped for the first time on these lands, was the beginning of the expansion of western civilisation and the beginning of the end of the indigenous societies.

    With the passage of the years, our destruction was intensified, carried out by western civilisation. The most diverse instruments of degradation were used in the massacre of the indigenous groups. Factors contributing to this process were sicknesses brought by the white man which had until then been unknown to us, the plundering of our lands, and the application of colonialist and ethnocentric educational methods which did not respect our political, economic and religious structure.

    So much so that in the 16th century the Indians were considered irrational animals, and it was necessary for Pope Paul III to declare to the public of the time that we were human beings, with body and soul. But in spite of this, the destruction of the indigenous people continued."

    (From Message of the Day of the Indian 19.4.1977, signed by representatives of the Xavante, Bororo, Pareci, Apiaká, Guarany, Kaingang, Kayabi, Terena & Kaiowá tribes)

    Source: Moody, Roger ed. The Indigenous Voice: Visions and Realities. 2nd Edition. Utrecht: International Books, 1988. p.356. Taken from Survival International





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