For the first time in its 55-year history, the federal agency responsible for Brazil’s indigenous policy will be commanded by an indigenous woman. Attorney Joenia Wapichana became president of the National Foundation of Indigenous Peoples (FUNAI), which is responsible for protecting and promoting the rights of the country’s different ethnic groups.
On Monday (2), Joenia Wapichana participated in an ceremony at the headquarters in Brasilia, organized by the two class-associations of the agency’s employees, the Indigenistas Associados (INA) and the Associação Nacional dos Servidores da Funai (Ansef). Entitled “Resumption of Funai”, the event brought together indigenous leaders, servers and experts under the banner of reconstruction and strengthening of the institution, celebrating the occupation of strategic spaces of Brazilian politics by native peoples in 2023. “The FUNAI is ours!”, shouted the indigenous leaders and employees upon Joenia’s arrival. The official nomination for the position should take place on January 24th.
Besides the future president of Funai, also present were the Minister of Indigenous Peoples, Sônia Guajajara, the federal deputy elected by the State of Minas Gerais, Célia Xakriabá, the chief Raoni Metuktire, and other prominent names, such as Eloy Terena, Júlio Yanomami, Agnelo Xavante, the shaman Tanawy Xukuru Kariri, and Weibe Tapeba, who will be the secretary of Indigenous Health in Lula’s government.
Created in 1967 as the National Indian Foundation, FUNAI is now called the National Foundation of Indigenous Peoples and will become part of the structure of the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples, headed by Sônia Guajajara.Sources
1 Jan 23
Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva starts third mandate as president of Brazil
2 Jan 23
Deforestation, fines and gold mining: the first measures of Lula's government to rebuild Brazil's socio environmental governance