Brazil’s national education union has taken a major step towards boosting the status of indigenous education within the national system after hosting its First National Indigenous Educators’ Meeting in Sao Paulo this month.
It has been a busy March for Brazil’s national education union, the Confederaçao Nacional dos Trabalhadores em Educaçao(CNTE), one of the member organisations of Education International (EI), after it held both the First National Indigenous Educators’ Meeting and the 5th EI Latin America (EILA) Regional Meeting on Public Education and Indigenous Peoples from March 9th to the 13th.
The meetings helped take important strides toward better recognising and integrating indigenous education into Brazil’s education system, as well as uniting efforts to create the CNTE Indigenous Collective.
“We want Indigenous peoples to be empowered in all areas related to the ways in which the education system works,” said Rita Gomes do Nascimento, an Indigenous woman from Potyguara, and a civil servant within the Brazilian Education Ministry. She stressed the importance of Indigenous peoples opportunity to participate, take social control of education policies, take part in and monitor the work of the territorial management committees and the existing councils, such as the Indigenous Education Council and the Indigenous education forums throughout Brazil.
Thirty-five representatives from 14 states, and 9 Brazilian ethnic groups, as well as CNTE President Roberto Franklin León, CNTE General Secretary Marta Vanelli, and EILA Regional Vice-President Fátima da Silva attended the First National Indigenous Educators’ Meeting.
Education International affiliates from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Mexico, Norway, Paraguay and Peru also met with the aim of building trade unions’ capacity to promote public education policies and strengthen indigenous education.
The 5th EILA Regional Meeting
The 5th EI Latin America (EILA) Regional Meeting on Public Education and Indigenous Peoples, also held in Sao Paulo, saw trade union leaders, Indigenous teachers and researchers from the region tackle education challenges facing populations in various countries.
Discussions focused on the practices of working with Indigenous populations were led by the Confederación de Trabajadores de Educación Urbana de Bolivia and the Sindicato Nacional de Trabajadores de la Educación from Mexico. The Union of Educators Norway also offered its experience on education within the Sami population.
The fruitful ongoing discussions and activities organised in the region since 2009 are being compiled and set to be presented at the Indigenous Caucus, a preparatory event to the EI 7th World Congress to be held in Ottawa, Canada in July.
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