Geography Reference
In-Depth Information
Self-Determination and Indigenous Peoples' Rights
In this chapter, I show that map-making activities develop mathematical ideas that
are essential to the understanding and the protection of the rights of Indigenous
Peoples, in particular their right to self-determination. Map-making as a strategy to
regain and protect their peoples' land was a major feat of a two-week long (80 hours
total) “Teacher Training Workshop for Indigenous Peoples in São Paulo,” held in
1999. The workshop concluded with the presentation of mathematical ideas of the
Guarani, Terena, Kaingang, Krenak, and Pankararu nations. The event commemorated
the First International Decade of the World's Indigenous Peoples (1995-2004) with
the production of the “Book of Maps of São Paulo” (Ferreira 2000). All 60 teachers-
in-training collaborated in producing the Topic of Maps. The Topic was dedicated to
making the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UN
DRIP), still then in its draft form, a concrete reality. It became quite obvious to all
workshop participants that mathematical knowledge is needed for the construction
and analysis of information about the current situation of Indigenous Peoples in Brazil.
Figure 4.1. Guarani Mbyá Family in Cananéia, on the southern coast of the state of São
Paulo, 2008.
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