FUNDAçãO NACIONAL DO ÍNDIO (Portuguese pronunciation: , National Indian Foundation) or FUNAI is a Brazilian governmental protection agency for Indian interests and their culture.
* 1 Original founding as Indian Protection Service * 2 Early years * 3 Contact with isolated tribes * 4 Legislation and demarcation efforts * 5 See also * 6 Notes and references * 7 Bibliography * 8 External links
ORIGINAL FOUNDING AS INDIAN PROTECTION SERVICE
In 1910, the Indian Protection Service (Serviço de Proteção ao
Índio), or the SPI, was founded under the lead of Brazilian Marshal
Candido Rondon . Rondon created the foundation's motto: "Die if
necessary, but never kill." Drawing from his
FUNAI was created by Law No. 5,371, under jurisdiction of the
Ministry of Justice and headquartered in Brasilia . On December 19,
1973, Law No. 6001 officially placed Indians under the protection of
FUNAI through the Indian Statute. The Indian Statute, while aiming to
demarcate all Indian lands by 1978, also had the main goal to
integrate Indians into society as soon as possible, so that the Amazon
and its people could start contributing economically to Brazilian
society. Protection from a government agency is important for Indian
populations, but this also means that FUNAI, as a part of the
government, has authority to act contrary to the welfare of the
Indians. For example, the Indian Statute permitted mining on
indigenous lands; a decree in 1983 restricted mining to minerals
necessary only for national defense and security, but still allowed
private companies to have licenses and use indigenous labor if
necessary. Also, in the early 1970s, FUNAI president General
Jerônimo Bandeira de Mello approved the plan for a trans-Amazonian
highway that would run through Brazil's Amazon to Peru's frontier.
This highway granted access to the previously inaccessible interior of
the Amazon, allowing government and private agencies to use it for
their advantage. The highway led to the relocation and extermination
of many indigenous tribes by the government and other private
agencies, and logging along the highway directly led to deforestation
along the affected parts of the Amazon.
CONTACT WITH ISOLATED TRIBES
The Central Department for Isolated Indians and Recently Contacted Indians is a division within FUNAI to handle dealings with isolated indigenous tribes. Article 231 of the 1988 Constitution expresses indigenous peoples' rights to preserve their culture, traditions, and customs; since contact with mainstream society could jeopardize isolated tribes' culture, FUNAI undertakes efforts to maintain these tribes' isolation. The CGIIRC division is responsible for protecting areas with known isolated tribes from outside contact, since outside contact could spread disease within indigenous communities. The Department is present in 12 regions of Brazil's Amazon region, and almost all of Brazil's known uncontacted tribes reside within already demarcated lands. FUNAI has records of about 107 isolated Indians' presence.
LEGISLATION AND DEMARCATION EFFORTS
The Brazilian Constitution of 1988 recognized Indians' rights to practice their customs without pressure to assimilate or integrate into mainstream Brazilian society. Article 231 also defines Indians' rights to their lands, and outlines FUNAI's responsibility to demarcate those lands. The article also provides that mining and other energy resources on indigenous lands is only allowed with the approval of Congress, and after taking into account the Indigenous populations' input. The Constitution set a goal of demarcating indigenous lands in five years, but by 1993 only 291 of 559 indigenous territories were demarcated.
In 1991, Decree 22 outlined five steps FUNAI must follow to demarcate indigenous lands:
* FUNAI's president is responsible for establishing an anthropological team to identify the lands to be demarcated. * The team must then prepare a report of their findings. * The team must publish the report to the Diário Oficial da Uniao and submit it to the Minister of Justice , who will review the report and issue an Administrative Decree outlining the area's boundaries. * The FUNAI is responsible for physically demarcating the lands, checking with the Minister of Justice and the President for continuous approval. * Finally FUNAI registers the property with the Federal Property Departement.
In 1996, Brazil's President Cardoso passed Decree 1775 , which effectively revoked Decree 22 and expanded the ways that commercial interests could contest the demarcation of lands. Individuals or companies were allowed from the beginning of the demarcation process until 90 days after FUNAI issued their report to submit an appeal showing that the contested lands do not meet the qualifications of indigenous lands as stated in the constitution. The government claimed that allowing people to contest indigenous lands during the demarcation process would prevent any future challenges of completed lands on the basis of unconstitutionality. The decree was widely contested as a violation of indigenous rights, earning the nickname of the "Genocide Decree," due to the power it gave to commercial interests to exploit Indian lands. By April 1996, FUNAI had received over 500 appeals for over 40 indigenous territories that were in the process of being demarcated. FUNAI followed procedure and submitted its official opinion to the Ministry of Justice, rejecting the appeals that were brought against the indigenous lands. Justice Nelson Jobim sided with FUNAI on all except eight territories, ordering further investigation.
One of these territories was the Raposa/Serra do Sol region in the
northern state of
On December 28, 2009, President Luís Inácio (Lula) da Silva signed
Presidential Decree 7056, also known as the "FUNAI Statute". The
decree restructured FUNAI, effectively closing hundreds of indigenous
posts and regional FUNAI offices. The government never consulted
with indigenous populations, even though under Convention 169 of the
International Labour Organization
President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva's government approved 81 applications for demarcation, but Dilma Rousseff\'s government approved only 11 territories from 2011 to 2015.
NOTES AND REFERENCES
* ^ A B C D "Land Rights and the Manipulation of Identity: Official
Indian Policy in
* ^ A B "Indians in Brazil: Is Genocide Inevitable?". Native
* ^ A B Fisher, William. "Megadevelopment, Environmentalism, and
Resistance: The Institutional Context of Kayapó Indigenous Politics
in Central Brazil". Human Organization. 53 (3): 220–232. doi
* ^ "The Politics of Indigenous Land Rights in