Indigenous peoples in Brazil

©UNESCO/Nelson Muchagata

It is estimated that there are approximately 370 million Indigenous people in the world, which represents around 5% of the world population. The Indigenous peoples also represent over 5,000 different languages in more than 70 countries in six continents. That means almost 75% of all languages believed to exist. 

In many cases, their ecologically sustainable practices protect a significant part of the biodiversity of the world. In spite of the fact that the United Nations have declared two International Decades for Indigenous Peoples, this group has continued to face severe discrimination in terms of access to basic social services, educaiton and health. Great part of the members of Indigenous communities have lived marginalized and in precarious circumstances, many times, due to forced migration, globalization impacts or climate change.

Some areas of intervention for Indigenous peoples:Developing guidelines for Indigenous peoples that are relevant to their needs and aspirations, incorporating their culture, language and learning styles.Supporting thoughts and actions to make teaching curricula and methodologies aware of the rights, perspectives, experiences and aspirations of the Indigenous peoples, normally through the involvement of Indigenous peoples in the work to be developed.Developing educational training programmes for Indigenous peoples in relation to their rights, technical negotiations, and leadership abilities.

In Brazil, the Indigenous population was around 897 thousand, 305 ethnic communities and 274 languages in 2010. From the Indigenous members aged 5 or above, 37.4% spoke an Indigenous language and 76.9% spoke Portuguese (IBGE, 2010). 

Within this context, UNESCO in Brazil has developed the a series of publications called “Série Educação preventiva para DST/HIV/Aids e hepatites virais entre os povos indígenas do Vale do Javari”. Vale do Javari is one of the regions where there are the greatest concentration of Indigenous peoples in the country. The series is a plurilingual and intercultural pedagogical material, which aims at providing subsidies to teachers of the Marubo, Matis, Mayoruna (Matsés) e Kanamari Indigenous peoples in activities related to disease prevention in Indigenous schools and community contexts where they are located. The material offer to teachers contents to work with students of different age groups, genres and school levels.

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