Who Are The Kīsêdjê?
'Our hope is that the next generation will continue to maintain the same way of thinking and preserve the environment, which is important to our lives.'
- Winti Suya, Kīsêdjê Community Member
The Kīsêdjê are the only group of the Gê language family living in the Xingu Indigenous Park in the Brazilian Amazon rainforest. The Kīsêdjê live in circular villages, in houses constructed around a large open area where one or two "men’s houses" are located, one in the east and the other in the west. Living in one of the world’s most biodiverse areas, the Kīsêdjê face widespread land grabs and deforestation threatening their culture, customs and livelihood.
Many features of Kīsêdjê social organization and ritual life were modified after the attack on their village by the Juruna and their rubber tapper allies. Population loss, intense contact with the tribes of the Upper Xingu, and the death of a large number of the older men shortly after “pacification" resulted in profound modifications in Kīsêdjê social life.
Mato Grosso, Brazil
COVID-19: The Indigenous Perspective
With the coronavirus spreading into remote territories across the Brazilian Amazon, Indigenous communities are facing a real threat of losing a generation of Indigenous leaders to Covid-19. Get to know how the Kīsêdjê community is dealing with the pandemic.
The State Of The Forest
Forest hectares guarded by the community:
Industries threatening the community:
The Kīsêdjê community organized various attempts to contain deforestation on their territories across the Wawi River. The Kīsêdjê were victorious in several reconquests which led to a formalization of the Wawi Indigenous Land in 1998. In spite of this success, the deforestation undertaken by outsiders has not ceased and has greatly concerned the Kīsêdjê Tribe. They have recently sent messages to authorities denouncing the widespread soybean monoculture on their forest territories. The multinational agribusiness Cargill, which processes soybeans, is establishing new units for storage and processing in Mato Grosso. One of them is in Canarana and another is almost completed in Querência, the city nearest Kīsêdjê territory.
In the first three months of 2020, the destruction of the Amazon rainforest increased by more than
Data published by Brazil’s space agency INPE shows that more than 300 square miles of rainforest - an area about the size of New York City - was lost between January and March 2020.
How To Stop This
We believe that video technology and geospatial data could be used as a tool for the advancement of Indigenous rights and the preservation of nature. We empower young Indigenous community members (with a strong focus on women) to tell their own stories through films and express the hardship they are facing to secure ancestral forests, wisdom and cultural heritage. We combine film, geospatial data and Indigenous rights advocacy through a network of environmental lawyers in order to achieve sustainable policy change on Indigenous customary law and the preservation of tropical forests.
Our ultimate goal is to empower Indigenous communities to protect forest territories and its biodiversity through powerful stories and videos that could be used as proof of evidence against deforestation. We track our impact to determine how much of the video content is used as proof of evidence in court and how many hectares of Indigenous forest area is reclaimed after our intervention.
OUR PARTNERS ON THE GROUND:
ASSOCIAÇÃO INDIGENA KĪSÊDJÊ
© All images courtesy of the Kīsêdjê community and can not be used or shared in any other form without the permission of the community.