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An Indigenous Teen Climate Activist Is Setting Out To Take Down Trump And His Conservative Constituents

Artemisa Xakriabá is a 19-year-old indigenous climate activist leading global efforts to thwart the harmful effects of climate change. Global warming is catastrophic. Extreme weather creates a domino effect of natural disasters leading to public health crises leading to displacement and poverty, which largely affects people of color. 

According to Time, “In the U.S., urban communities of color, often also low-income areas, are especially at risk, particularly those living in counties in the Southeast, which have the highest concentration of African Americans. The situation is similar for Latinx populations. In the U.S. and globally, those least responsible for climate change are already the first to bear the brunt of its health effects.” 

Poverty, discrimination, and limited access to healthcare makes navigating the difficulties of climate change that much harder for blacks, Latinxs, and indigenous people. Artemisa Xakriabá wants to change that. 

Artemisa Xakriabá  is combatting climate change in Brazil.

The 19-year-old climate activist from São João das Missões, Brazil wants to thwart the destruction of the Amazon rainforest. A representative of the Global Alliance of Territorial Communities for indigenous communities, Artemisa participated in the first march for indigenous women this year. At the protest, she and others took to the streets of the capital in Brasília to denounce President Bolsonaro’s destructive environmental policies.

Last September during the Global Climate Strike, she gave the closing remarks to a crowd of around 250,000 protestors in New York City.

“We, the indigenous peoples, are the children of nature, so we fight for our Mother Earth because the fight for Mother Earth is the mother of all other fights. We are fighting for your lives. We are fighting for our lives. We are fighting for our sacred territory. But we are being persecuted, threatened, murdered, only for protecting our own territories. We cannot accept one more drop of indigenous blood spilled,” she said. 

On this same day, she spoke before the US House of Representatives to urge senators to take action on climate change. 

Who are the indigenous people of the Xakriabá tribe? 

The Xakriabá people are one of 13 indigenous tribes in São João das Missões, Brazil; although historically the Xakriabá did not have a central territory, they largely inhabited the Tocantins River area but were forced to live on reservations in the 18th century. While their original language has become extinct due to colonialism, it was an Acua language of the Ge language family which is a part of the Macro-Je language stock spoken by indigenous South Americans. 

“It’s a very sad thing to say because, within those eight to nine months of (Bolsonaro’s) term, a lot has changed. He wants to place mining inside the village, within the indigenous territories. They are killing our trees to put mining, putting the part of the economic groups, the politics itself, the agribusiness,” Artemisa said before congress. 

Right-wing Bolsonaro has exacerbated issues for the Xakriabá with his deforestation policies that allow the government to plunder the tribe’s territory for mining and farming. 

Artemisa fights back against the Brazilian government.

Artemisa is challenging the government that refuses to end the tens of thousands of fires obliterating the Amazon rainforest. Corporate agriculture has ravished the area by burning down trees to create room for cattle — the fires have increased by 70 percent since last year. Yes, they’re killing trees for short-term financial gain, because in the long-term their won’t be a planet to capitalize on any longer. 

The Xakriabá tribe now has limited access to the river and its water due to corporate mining. 

“The scarcity of water in the territory is noticeable,” she said. “We need the river and the water for our living and for our spiritual health, our connection to the earth. So access to the river is a big issue for us. The governments of Brazil and the United States are not helping. They promote hate-based narratives and a development model that attacks nature and indigenous peoples. These governments are trying to put us in extinction. They are part of the problem.”

Gen Z wants a policy overhaul and that means centering indigenous voices. 

The Youth Climate Strike Coalition in the United States has a list of the demands and one is “respect of indigenous land and sovereignty and environmental justice,” along with “protection and restoration of 50% of the world’s lands and oceans including a halt to deforestation by 2030.” 

While this may seem like common to sense it is politically groundbreaking (ain’t many politicians here calling for such sweeping action) and recognizes the significance and humanity of indigenous people which is sorely lacking from our leaders. 

Gen Z isn’t waiting to be saved, they’re smart enough to know that we have to save ourselves. The only question is: are adults ready to follow? 

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A Tourist Was Arrested For Illegally Climbing Up The Pyramid of Kukulkán

Culture

A Tourist Was Arrested For Illegally Climbing Up The Pyramid of Kukulkán

Jon G. Fuller / VW PICS / Universal Images Group via Getty Images

It is important to be a responsible tourist. This means following rules, acting responsibly, and not violating sacred places. That is something one tourist learned the hard way when she climbed the Pyramid of Kukulkán in Chichén Itzá.

Here’s the video of a tourist running down the steps of the Pyramid of Kukulkán.

The Pyramid of Kukulkán is one of the most iconic examples of Pre-Hispanic architecture and culture in Mesoamerica. The UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the most visited archeological sites in Mexico. In 2017, more than 2 million visitors descended on the site.

Of course, #LadyKukulkan started to trend on Twitter.

You know that Twitter was ready to start calling out this woman for her actions. According to Yucatán Expat Life Magazine, the woman was there to honor her husband’s dying wish. The woman, identified as a tourist from Tijuana, wanted to spread her husband’s ashes on the top of the pyramid, which it seems that she did.

The video was a moment for Mexican Twitter.

Not only was she arrested by security when she descended, but the crowd was also clearly against her. Like, what was she even thinking? It isn’t like the pyramid is crawling with tourists all over it. She was the only person climbing the pyramid, which is federally owned and cared for.

The story is already sparking ideas for other people when they die.

“Me: (to my parents) Have you read about #ladykukulkan?
My Dad: Yes! (to my mom) When I die, I want you to scatter my ashes in the National Palace so they call you “Lady Palace,” sounds better, no?” wrote @hania_jh on Twitter.

READ: Mexico’s Version Of Burning Man Became A COVID-19 Super-Spreader Event Thanks To U.S. Tourists

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A Brazilian Photographer Is Documenting Indigenous Tribes In The Amazon

Culture

A Brazilian Photographer Is Documenting Indigenous Tribes In The Amazon

ricardostuckert / Instagram

Indigenous tribes are the most important connection between man and nature. These tribes have lived off the land before modern society and many have never interacted with modern society. Ricardo Stuckert is going through and documenting the indigenous Amazonian tribes in Brazil.

Ricardo Stuckert is photographing indigenous tribespeople in the Brazilian Amazon.

The indigenous community is something sacred that most people agrees should be protected. They are more connected to the land than we are. Their customs and traditions are more ingrained in this world than ours are and it is so important to protect them.

The indigenous community of Brazil has been subjected to horrible attacks and conditions from the Brazilian government.

One of the most widespread attacks against the indigenous Brazilians living in the Amazon has been for the land. President Jair Bolsonaro has tried to take land away from the indigenous communities to allow for logging and mining. A bill he sent to the congress sought to exploit the land for commercial purposes, even legalizing some of the attacks we have seen on indigenous people since President Bolsonaro took power.

Stuckert wants to preserve the indigenous culture and customs through photos.

“I think it is important to disseminate Brazilian culture and show the way that native peoples live today,” Stuckert told DailyMail. “In 1997, I started to photograph the Amazon and had my first contact with the native people of Brazil. Since then, I have tried to show the diversity and plurality of indigenous culture, as well as emphasize the importance of the Indians as guardians of the forest. There are young people who are being born who have never seen or will see an Indian in their lives.”

The photographer believes that using photography is the best way to share culture.

“I think that photography has this power to transpose a culture like this to thousands of people,” Stuckert told DailyMail. “The importance of documentary photojournalism is to undo stigmas and propagate a culture that is being lost. We need to show the importance of indigenous people to the world, for the protection of our forests.”

You can see all of Stuckert’s photos on his Instagram.

Stuckert’s work to documented the indigenous community is giving people an insight into a life many never see. Brazil is home to about 210 million people with around 1 million having indigenous heritage. The diverse indigenous community of Brazil is something important to showcase and that’s what Stuckert is doing.

READ: Indigenous Photographer Diego Huerta’s Photos Of Oaxaca’s Indigenous People Celebrates Their Beauty

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