Mariano Marcos Terena Xané - Brazil

Mariano Marcos Terena, is the son of the Xane’ Pueblo, from the region of Aguas del Pantanal, between Brazil, Bolivia and Paraguay. A Brazilian national born in 1954 he is a Xane’ leader who has devoted his life to working and organizing for the rights of Indigenous people and for the earth itself.

In 1977, Marcos founded the first Indigenous political movement in Brazil, the Union of Indigenous Nations (UNIND), and was involved in the process to include Indigenous peoples rights in the Brazilian constitution.

Marcos is also a founding member of the Inter-Tribal Committee, Land is Life, the International Alliance of Indigenous-Tribal Peoples of the Tropical Forests, the Brazilian Indigenous Institute for Intellectual Property, the World Indigenous Games Festival, and the Call of the Earth Circle.

Marcos was also involved in the creation of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, coordination of the Forum for the Protection of Traditional Knowledge in Brazil and jointly with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and he also coordinated the Indigenous people panel in Santiago +5 Conference on Racial Equality.

“We came here to fight for life. We came here to fight for our life, for our survival, but also for the survival of the planet, and the planet is just like a big canoe, a big boat, where we have blacks, Indians, whites. Because, when your lungs fail, can no longer breathe this air, your bodies will be sick and so will ours. And when we no longer have any water to drink, when you can no longer quench your thirst with the water from rivers, when you can no longer have forests, what are you going to do? You may invent some kind of pill to quench your thirst, but this will never taste as good as the fresh waters that we drink in our forests.” – Marcos Terena (1992)
Marcos was the organizer of the historic World Conference of Indigenous Peoples on Territories, Environment and Development (1992), and the World Indigenous Games (2018). Marcos is also a founding member of the Inter-Tribal Committee, the International Alliance of Indigenous-Tribal Peoples of the Tropical Forests, and the Brazilian Indigenous Institute for Intellectual Property.
As member of the board of directors if 'land is life' marcos says:“One of our biggest challenges is that national governments still need to recognize Indigenous peoples within their environmental and territorial universe, and their right for a secure habitat in relation to the future. In Brazil, we have over 300 existing Indigenous societies and we need to protect their rights to guarantee their cultural and traditional strengthening. When we understand the experiences of Indigenous peoples in their territories, we are building alternatives to improve the general quality of life for all in the modern world.

Besides being the creator of Indian Voice, a radio program, Marcos Terena has also commented about Indigenous rights in various television programs. He has also written two books: The Indian Aviator and The Citizens of the Jungle.

he is Recipient of the 2016 Wisdom Treasure Award, which is presented annually to honor the work of an Elder who has demonstrated lifelong achievement in bringing wisdom, leadership and learning to their people and their community.
His work both at national, and international level has been huge. the struggle for indigenous peoples rights and the protection of mother nature has seen progress thanks to marcos tenera, in a country with much richness, in natural resources and indigenous cultures, such a BRAZIL.

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1. Global Landscapes Forum; Marcos Terena. Professor of Traditional and Spiritual Knowledge of the Indigenous People and Coordinator of the International Indigenous Forum on Biodiversity; December 20, 2017; (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0). 2. Romulo Ferreira; Amazon; August 31, 2018; (CC BY 2.0). 3. Senado Federal; Plenário do Senado; April 25, 2019; (CC BY 2.0). 4. Travelbusy.com; Amazon Brazil; September 22, 2012; (CC BY 2.0). 5. theverb.org; Marcos Terena (Brazil); June 17, 2012; (CC BY-NC 2.0).