According to 2010 census data, Brazil’s indigenous population numbers nearly 900,000, comprising 0.47% of its total population. Speaking over 150 languages, Brazil is home to 256 distinct peoples, including the Yanomami, Ashaninka, Guarani, Tukano, Macuxi and Wapichana, to name a few. It is speculated that over 100 groups live uncontacted and in voluntary isolation deep in the forest.
Brazil’s 1988 Constitution recognizes the rights of indigenous peoples and guarantees their rights to their traditional territories. After great effort, indigenous peoples have been able to secure recognition (or “demarcation”) of 13.8% (over 117 million ha) of Brazil’s lands, including 23% (over 115 million ha) of the Brazilian Amazon.
However, some 487 indigenous lands throughout the country are still in the process of demarcation. The political and institutional delays to the demarcation process perpetuate violations of indigenous peoples’ rights to own and manage their traditional territories.