Indigenous people on frontlines of deadly fight for the Amazon and their homes

Forest defender Paulo Paulino Guajajara was shot dead days ago by suspected illegal loggers.

Paulo Paulino Guajajara. Photo: Patrick Raynaud

Nation to Nation
Forest defender Paulo Paulino Guajajara was shot dead several days ago by suspected illegal loggers in what has pitted Indigenous people against just about everyone trying to make a buck in the Brazilian Amazon.

But Guajajara’s death shows protecting their territory can come at the highest price as he was shot in the face and his cousin wounded during an “ambush” in the Araribóia Indigenous territory of the Amazon.

It’s essentially put Indigenous people on the frontlines in this deadly fight.

Watch the full episode of APTN Nation To Nation.

“They are defending vast forests in the Amazon from a range of illegal actors, militias, including loggers but also land grabbers, miners,” said Christian Poirier, a program director with Amazon Watch, an advocacy group raising awareness of the ongoing issues in the world’s most prominent rainforest.

“So it’s truly a crisis.”

Catch Poirier’s full interview with host Todd Lamirande on Nation to Nation tonight.

Nation to Nation also looks at the legacy of Elizabeth May, who stepped down as leader of the federal Green party earlier this week.

“She never let up and that was her real strength behind her advocacy,” said Pitseolak Pfeifer, consultant and owner of Inuit Solutions.

As well, with Parliament set to resume in a few weeks there’s one matter that fell short in Justin Trudeau’s last term – Bill C-262 or the UNDRIP bill.

“It just required Senate approval for it to get royal assent. It was quite disheartening and it could leave a very bad taste in the mouths of Indigenous people,” said Veldon Coburn, an assistant professor of Indigenous studies at the University of Ottawa.

[email protected]