In preparation for our expedition to the Amazon, we established collaboration with the Huni Kui Indians, whose representatives attended the “Science Meets Tradition” public talk during their visit to the Czech Republic. The Huni Kui tribe is now facing the threat of the new president, Jairo Bolsonar, who has repeatedly expressed racist ideas against the natives. The rainforest area is also at risk as the new government has opened it up for timber harvesting, soybean production and cattle rearing. The government plans to sell the indigenous land to farmers, as well as oil and mining companies.
“Indigenous tribes are slowing down the economic growth of our country by occupying the rainforest”.
The Indians’ speech:
“As a native people, we have given our contributions to the planet and one of the greatest examples of protection and preservation of the Amazonian forest with all its bio diversity. The forest is our home and in our culture; the forest is a sacred place, and is now being threatened by Brazil’s new political leaders and corporate interest aiming to extract natural resources. After the first acts of the new president, the collapsing of the Ministry of Justice, which FUNAI (National Foundation of Indians) and SESAI (Secretary of Indigenous Health) are a part of, there are now no government agencies to offer us support and security.
We are concerned about the future of our generations, our culture, and the forest. Our plan is to have a meeting with our people in order to come up with strategies on how we can defend our home and we need your support to hold this great meeting. With our leaders, we will discuss a plan and organize for situations that are already occurring and those that are yet to occur. We are counting on you and the Huni Kui people as well.”
The Indians plan to oppose the steps being taken by the new government. This requires unification and clear common decision-making. The Huni Kui tribe is one of the most widespread tribes in the Amazon Basin of Brazil and Peru, mostly inhabiting the Brazilian state of Acre, in land that is now owned by France. Because they use natural resources predominantly for their own livelihood, they do not have many opportunities to “make money”. Financial resources are mainly needed to ensure this tribal meeting, paying the travel costs of 104 villages, some departing for up to four days by boat or requiring air transport, as well as multimedia and production equipment. Every donation will help to make this meeting possible, so that the people of the Huni Kui tribe can discuss the real problems of their day-to-day reality, their causes, and work together to develop an action and survival plan.
Their unification can now be supported through a crowdfunding campaign on Gofundme.
Scientists at the National Institute of Mental Health are planning to attend this meeting to fine-tune the final details of their expedition. So you can look forward to a report from this very unique meeting!