Raoni’s Visit


9:08 min. - In Ekuanitshit, Chief Pietacho welcomes the Kayapos. The community honors Grand Chief Raoni for his acheivements in the Amazon and his visit to Innu land.


Narrator - Traveling so far north, the Kayapos would be ill-advised not to stop and really enjoy Lac Brulet’s hunting and fishing facilities, where they can meet with former chief of Ekuanitshit Pinip Pietacho.
A respected shamanistic healer, Raoni shows lots of interest for the Innus traditional medicine, and Pinip Pietacho shows him how to heal a sore throat.
The Kayapos are concerned with what they’ve learned, this unique territory could soon be drawn by some huge hydroelectric project, they immediately offer their help and support to the Innus, or we’ll have to fight until everything is stopped. And then they board for their last stage in Nitassinan: Ekuanitshit. It’s not the last stage of their overall saga, though, they have yet to see many friends before getting back to their rain forest. One of the reasons for such a long trip, a voyage across many continents, and over a few months is to gather funds for the Raoni Institute, a huge multi-function complex, including traditional medicine facilities, scheduled to start its operation in 2005.
Here, in Ekuanitshit ancestral rights are challenged, for instance, white people are accusing the local Innus to waste La Romaine’s River resources, of course the government refuses to get involved.
“Reaffirm your rights,” answer the Amazonian visitors. “Look at the Raoni Institute. For the past eight years the Kayapos have done their best fighting for it. Today, the Brazilian government is a partner, in spite of many Kayapos issues with the local industrial sector, and with many lumberjack threats.”
Raoni is quite impressed with Ekuanitshit’s pharmacy. The use of medicinal plants, in conjunction with occidental medicine is part of his institute project.
“In order to control health, education, and natural resources, we need to understand how the white people do their things, we need to prepare documents and publicize them. Let me meet with the white chief, the Prime Minister,” says Raoni, “I’ll demand that the Innus be respected, and I’ll discuss the low altitude flying issue.”
Félix Atencio Gonzales - In Brazil, I know the White people. They’ll want to mislead you. They’re liars! I’ve been fighting quite awhile. If the White people resent it, they particularly dislike the fact I want to live as an Indian. So they try to show some temper. But it start yelling a them. It’s how they get scared away.
I’m very excited to be here to get acquainted to you to visit your people.
Narrator - And, as written in the Antique Book of Innu traditions, gifts straight from the heart are given to Raoni and the Kayapo visitors.
Before adjourning, the chiefs agreed on the following statement: "The Kayapo chiefs have given the Innu Nation full support in their preservation efforts of Nitassinan and its resources. They have expressed their concern with hydroelectric dams, mining operations, low altitude NATO flying, traditional territory slashing by the constructions of roads, ongoing deforestation projects and known governmental agendas on similar projects, including commercialization of water. There projects have influence on the ecosystem, the animals and the traditional activities."

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