Ninawa Kaxinawá, (Hunikui) from Acre, Brazil, is an indigenous leader and spiritual leader for his people living between the borders of Brazil and Peru.
Kaxinawá was at the United Nations on September 30 to speak about the concerns of 12 indigenous nations, belonging to the Pano linguistic family—of which the Hunikui has the largest population.
In this video by Sommer Films, Kaxinawá discusses what has brought him to the U.N. which includes bringing awareness to his tribe and others who are trying to preserve their culture and show that they are very alive.
“These days we try to strengthen our culture, and to maintain our biodiversity, to keep it alive,” Kaxinawá says. “You all know that 512 years ago we lived a free life. And 511 years later, we suffer because of the contact with the main stream society. Today we are squeezed in small reservations, trying to live freely, like our ancestors did. But we feel that the land is to small and our population is growing.”
He continues to discuss how the way of life has changed in Brazil and the need to unite people as everything on our planet changes to fast.