Indigenous Youth: Fighting for Their Rights

Thursday, July 17, 2014: 11:45 AM
Room: Booth 46
Oral Presentation
Maria de Lourdes BELDI DE ALCANTARA , Pathology department, University of São Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil
The main goal of this project is to carry out an interdisciplinary analysis of the meaning of violence for the indigenous youth of Reserva de Dourados, Mato Grosso do Sul - Brazil.

Violence in this population has different variants of those known in the Western society. This is extremely important for us to act within the cultural dialogue towards public policies proposals based on indigenous and human rights.

The constant traffic of that population between the cities and the border, makes it produce a hybrid discourse in which, often,  acts considered normal and usual are appointed as violent,  and  with ambivalent attitudes.

A great example is the fact that youth, mainly women are beaten by their companions frequently. They know that, in the surrounding society, this is not considered normal, but, at the same time, "it has always been that way, since the times of our mothers." However, many times they rise against it and go in search of justice outside for help, but, soon, they repent and justify the beating: it occurred because the mate had drank or used drugs.

This kind of ambiguous attitude represents the disagreement that exists in the negotiation between the Western values and those of the Indigenous People, in our case, the ethnicities Arawak and Guarani Kaiowa and Guarani- Ñandeva.

The methodology of this research was based on action research between the health workers, the indigenous teachers who work in the Reserva, me and the Indigenous youth who attend the Youth Indigenous Action of Dourados. We held six workshops about the meaning of the violence and acts of violence and how we can avoid them.