Last year, Chicão Pukimapimateri, a health agent from Pukima-Beira, asked for Portuguese language training courses in Poraquêquará. This initiative took hold, and a group of seven persons from Pukima-Beira and Pukima-Cachoeira was formed. Thus, the year started with a Portuguese language training course for the Pukimapimateri people from December 31st to January 31st. This training course was based on Portuguese grammar explained in Yanomami, focusing on the study of syntax, morphology and phonology of Portuguese. From this experience will be elaborated a class-book for any Yanomami in her village who wants to learn basic Portuguese. This first period coincided with an apiculture training course, from January 19th to 29th organized by Ricardo Valle from Bahia University. Ricardo, being also a Portuguese literature teacher at the University of Vitória da Conquista in Bahia, we merged both subjects and gave a Portuguese training course (‘puu’ means honey in Yanomami). We are planning a manual about the creation of native beehives on the Yanomami Territory. We want to include this activity in the Territorial and Environmental Management Plan (PGTA) – see below.
In the beginning of February, I worked on the correction and concluding chapter of the Pedagogic Political Project of Bicho-Açu School at the request of Secoya. This P.P.P. contains common trends, with every community having its own specificity.
From February 23rd to 28th,Adriano Pukimapiweiteri and I participated in the last training course of the Indigenous Lands Environmental Management National Politics (PNGATI). This was a very important moment for the indigenous people: at present under very anti indigenous political circumstances. This is the only space left to express a vision and a will about Indigenous land. During the four sessions, between 2014 and 2015, we tackled the Territorial and Environmental Management Plan (PGTA) which is the tool to actualize the policies regarding Indigenous territories.
From March 5th to 20th, we organized the first film training course with Rodrigue Jean and Étienne Roussy from the Canadian artists collective Épopée. The course was divided in three parts: script writing, filming and editing.
The objective of this first course was, for the Yanomami, to understand the Occidental technology and learn to create their own images.
The plan is to have four other training courses in collaboration with Épopée and a cinema school of São Paulo. The next course, will be given by an editing teacher from São Paulo and Rodrigue Jean, from Canada.
There were six Yanomami participating from different villages divided in two groups each working its own film. One group made a short film about visible things (how to harvest açaí) and the other about invisible things (spiritual manifestations in nature with images of shamans filmed by the Yanomami students in Bicho-Açu).
The Yanomami participants were very creative and their ability to learn how to use computers, write their script, and edit their images was remarkable. The participants appreciated the training course and are looking forward to the next one.
From April 18th to May 7th, took place the IV training course organized for the Yanomami health agents by the Health Education Program from Secoya in collaboration with SESAI (Indigenous Health Secretary) and Os Rios Profundos.
This training course was divided in three parts: the first was about vital signs given by a SESAI nurse, the second about infantile malnutrition was given by the Secoya Health Education Program Coordinator, and the third about applied mathematics was given by the Rios Profundos Coordinator. .
From May 11th to 21st, took place the II Public Politics Training Course for the Kurikama members given by Vicente Albernaz Coelho.
The course focused on the difference between a society without a State, and a society with a State from the time of colonization up to the present. Followed by the struggle of the indigenous people to be recognized, up to the 1988 Federal Constitution. Then we analyzed: the Brazilian political organization through the division of the three levels of power and the Federal Public Ministry, the present political situation, the political trends inside the government (ruralist, evangelical and company owners), the anti-indigenous law projects in the National Congress threatening the indigenous people rights gained after a long fight during these last decades, PL 1610 about mining in Indigenous lands and Conservation Unities mining, without previous consultation, PEC 215 giving the responsibility of the indigenous land demarcation to the legislative power (National Congress) instead of the executive power (Funai), PL 7735, about natural resources and traditional knowledge without previous consultation, and PL 1057 about criminalization of traditional infanticide..
In the presence of the PARNA Pico da Neblina chief, Instituto Chico Mendes da Conservação da Biodiversidade, ICMBio, Flávio Bocarde, were discussed new tools for indigenous people to defend themselves and their lands through the Indigenous Territories Environmental Management National Politics (PNGATI) and the Territorial and Environmental Management Plan (PGTA), which are the only spaces were they can be heard. The disrespect of the OIT (Work International Organization) Convention 169 has to be adressed in relation to the previous consultations before the start of any work that affects indigenous land.
Flávio presented the 1st Indigenous Politics National Conference following previous local and regional conferences throughout Brazil in coming months. These are consultations of indigenous people for the elaboration of public politics concerning the indigenous people of Brazil.
Then, we discussed the role of Kurikama, the Yanomami Association of Marauiá River and Rio Preto, its objectives and its political positions. During the two last days of the training, we worked on the organization of the Kurikama II Assembly (the agenda, the guests and the budget).
A few days later, the 1st Indigenous Politics Local Conference took place in Santa Isabel do Rio Negro, a good occasion to put in practice the recent politics lessons.
This conference is a consultation for the elaboration of the indigenous politics. Six local conferences will take place in Amazonia, one specifically for the Yanomami people in Maturacá in July. Delegates will be selected from these local conferences to participate to the regional conference in São Gabriel da Cachoeira from August 18th to 20th during which delegates will be chosen to attend the national conference in Brasília from November 17th to 20th.
The political proposals have to be elaborated from the following axis:
1º) Territoriality and land rights: recognition of the land rights; transborder rights;
2º) Self-determination, social participation and consultation rights;
3º) Indigenous territories long-lasting development;
4º) Indigenous people individual and collective rights;
5º) Cultural diversity and ethnical plurality in Brazil;
6º) Right to memory and truth.
In Poraquêquará, another Portuguese Language Training Course for the Pukimapiweiteri took place from June 1st to 30thin which we explored the Portuguese grammar. The members of the group changed slightly, now including eight persons: three from Pukima-Cachoeira, four from Pukima-Beira, and one from Ixima. There were three women and five men; four of them are health agents, one is an ex-teacher, one is a future teacher and two are promising pupils from Pukima-Cachoeira.
From July 4th to 11th, I went to Manaus to meet Luisa Valentini, from the Hedra Editor, to finalize the child and teenager versions of the mythology book from Parahiteri group published in 2010. The book will be distributed in the Yanomami schools of the Marauiá and Demeni rivers, and in the napë schools by the Education and Culture Ministry (MEC).
From July 13th to 24th, I was invited to participate in the Yanomami Degree Course organized by Federal University of Amazonas in Maturacá, a Yanomami community close to São Gabriel da Cachoeira. The methodology is based on research, enabling the teachers to develop a sense of autonomy in their practice.
Shortly after the course, took place the AYRCA XIV Assembly, Yanomami Association of the Cauaburis River and its tributaries.
This assembly was elective and the new directory will probably be more effective than the previous one. It gives hope to the Yanomami people of that region and to all in the Yanomami territory.
In the course of the assembly, took place the Indigenous Politics Yanomami Local Conference.
During the conference several proposals were elaborated conforming to the axis mentioned above. From this conference, twenty-four delegates were chosen to attend the regional conference in São Gabriel da Cachoeira.
Back to Marauiá, I’ve been invited by the community of Bicho-Açu, to teach the teenagers classroom, and for that I realized the testing of the pupils.
From August 18th to 20th, took place the Indigenous Politics Regional Conference in São Gabriel da Cachoeira. The discussion was intense because in this region, a lot of people, even indigenous leaders with remote contacts agree with mining on indigenous land. The political pressure is very high. A gold seekers´ cooperative has even been created in São Gabriel, all financed by politicians. It´s interesting to note that during the conference in Santa Isabel, the position was firmly against mining.
From this conference were selected eleven Yanomami to participate in the national conference that will include five persons from Maturacá, four persons from the Marauiá and two persons from the Demeni. The delegates from the Marauiá are Adriano Pukimapiweiteri, Carlito Iximawëteri, Otávio Ironasiteri, and Zegadilha Xamatauteri.
Then, I gave the first class in Bicho-Açu from August 24th to September 4th and from September 19th to 23rd.
The tasks for the current year are:
-meeting with Secoya in Manaus about the school books to be republished, from September 26th to October 1st;
-first meeting about the elaboration of the Territorial and Environmental Management Plan (PGTA) for all the Yanomami Territory in Boa Vista (Roraima) organized by Hutukara and Socioenvironmental Institute (ISA) from October 3rd to 7th;
-II Binational Yanomami Forum organized by Hutukara and ISA in Boa Vista (Roraima), joining representatives of all the Yanomami associations of Brazil and Venezuela from October 9th to the 12th.
Four Yanomami from Marauiá River will participate in these two events.
-back to Marauiá river, the II Kurikama Assembly in Bicho-Açu, from October 20th to 26th.
Following these, I'll be away in - -Trip to Europe to visit family, friends, and our Rios Profundos partners.
Anne Ballester Soares
OS RIOS PROFUNDOS coordinator