SEPTEMBER 3, 1942/1943

BRAZILIAN XAVANTE CHIEF MÁRIO JURUNA BORN–1ST FEDERAL-LEVEL INDIGENOUS REPRESENTATIVE

Son of Chief Xavante Apoenã, Jurina was born near Barra do Garças in 1942.  Six years later, his tribe was contacted for the first time by the expedition of Chico Meirelles.  After traveling through much of Brazil in the 1970s, Jurina began to tour Funai’s offices in Brasilia, fighting for Xavante land rights.  He was never seen without his recorder, “to record everything the white man says.”  Juruna was elected Federal deputy by the Democratic Labour Party (1983-1987).  His presence in the National Congress had a huge repercussion in the country and in the world.  Mário was responsible for the creation of the Permanent Commission of the Indian, one of the few committees of the Federal Chamber, which meant raising the indigenous problem to formal recognition.  Jurina was not reelected in 1986.  He died on July 18, 2002.

Source:  “Meet some of the names that worked to defend the rights of indigenous peoples and some characters of history among the Indians in Brazil,” Personalities.  Retrieved 6/24/2020, http://www.areaindigena.hpg.ig.com.br/personal.htm
Photo:  Brazilian Chamber of Deputies, circa 2014.  Fair Use.  Source: http://axa.org.br/2014/09/eleicoes-2014-em-mato-grosso-tse-registrou-tres-candidatos-indigenas/

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