Power

Brazilian indigenous peoples aim to enter mainstream politics

With land rights threatened, native peoples want to add to their sole representative in Congress so as to better defend their communities

indigenous camp
Indigenous protest camp in Brasília. Photo: Fabio Pozzebom/ABr

There is currently only one indigenous representative among Brazil’s 513 lower house members: Congresswoman Joenia Wapichana of Roraima. She is only the third lawmaker from a Brazilian native community in history, after Mário Juruna was elected to the House in 1982 and Antônio Apurinã took office as senator two decades ago.

But in 2022, indigenous leaders want to make a big leap into mainstream politics. Multiple sources within left-leaning parties have told The Brazilian Report of a growing push to form an “indigenous caucus” in the House. 

“Today we understand that we must be in the arenas where decisions...

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