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Reforesting minds

Willing to be a healing movement for a sick society the Indigenous Womem's March was cretaed. A meeting aimed at strengthening political action and the occupation of representative spaces by Indigenous women to advance the creation of public policies for Indigenous peoples inside and outside their territories, meeting specific demands of their realities, in addition to debating important global issues, such as the environment. 

In 2019 about 2,500 indigenous women from 130 peoples of Brazil and Latin America, joined the nearly 100,000 rural women who participated in the Marcha das Margaridas ("March of the Daisies") to hold the first March of Indigenous Women.

Marcha das Margaridas is a mobilization for the empowerment and recognition of the rights of peasant women in Latin America, a movement that promotes fundamental dialogues, amplifies their voices and highlights the great strength in each rural woman who lives exhausting journeys to care for their land. A tribute to Margarida Alves, a rural worker and union leader who was brutally murdered on August 12, 1983, in Paraíba, for defending the rights of rural workers.

With the theme “Territory: our body, our spirit”, the indigenous women claimed for health and safety of their people and their territories. Together they aim for a home with popular sovereignty, democracy, justice, equality and free from violence.

Two years later, in 2021, around 5,000 indigenous women from 172 peoples gathered for the second march in a scenario of a global pandemic. With the theme "Ancestral Women: Reforesting minds to the healing of the Earth" they marched again for the rights of indigenous peoples and the demarcation of their territories. The central agenda of the march was the Marco Temporal thesis, which claims that only territories occupied by indigenous in 1988, when the Constitution was established, can be reclaimed. A thesis that opposes the Constitution itself, which recognizes the ancestral right of indigenous peoples to their territories, even before the creation of the State, and ignores the history of successive invasions, expulsions and massacres suffered by indigenous peoples. 

In 2023, around 8,000 indigenous women marched for the third time, with the theme "Women in Defense of Biodiversity through Ancestral Roots". Although this march took place under a new political scenario, in the third term of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, and after the historic victory of Sônia Guajajara and Célia Xacriabá, representing the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples and Chamber of Deputies, the main agenda continued to be for the demarcation of territories and the trial of the Marco Temporal.

Aware of their role in preserving biodiversity, meetings have always included environmental agendas and in 2023 discussed climate emergencies and the importance of Indigenous women's participation in the U.N. Climate Conference, to be held in Belém, in northern Brazil, in 2025.

In a call to action for Mother Earth, the third march reinforced the commitment of indigenous peoples to nature conservation and affirms them as a guarantee of the future of the planet.

The documentation of these meetings was part of the collaborative coverage with Mídia Ninja, Instituto Sócio Ambiental (ISA) and Articulação dos Povos Indígenas do Brasil (Apib).

Read report at Mongabay Brasil and Mongabay.

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