Title: Brazilian Indians: the legacy of the indigenato and assertion of native identity

Authors: Zia Akhtar

Addresses: The Honourable Society of Gray's Inn, 8 South Square, London, WC1R 5ET, UK

Abstract: The Amer Indians in Brazil are still governed by the concepts that emanate from the Papal Bulls and the conquest of the New World in the 15th century. This was a period when the settlement, legislation, government, and in the abstract field of political theory the Iberian achievement left enduring and memorable landmarks. The colonial government established the indigenato to assimilate the Indians on pain of forfeiture of their lands. It has a durable legacy in the successive constitutions and the Indian Statute Law of 1973. The discrimination of Indians has continued and they have not been able to obtain legal remedies. There needs to be an affirmation of identity that takes account of the Declaration of the Rights of the Indigenous Peoples 2007, and international legal instruments to provide the native peoples in Brazil a measure of sovereignty that will restore their respect and autonomy in the present era.

Keywords: discovery; indigenato; Declaration of the Rights of the Indigenous Peoples 2007; self determination; Brazil; Amer Indians; native identity; sovereignty; autonomy.

DOI: 10.1504/IJHRCS.2014.067876

International Journal of Human Rights and Constitutional Studies, 2014 Vol.2 No.4, pp.322 - 340

Received: 21 Jul 2014
Accepted: 13 Aug 2014

Published online: 06 Mar 2015 *

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