Brazilian authorities claim to have pinpointed the location of a community of ancient and uncontacted tribespeople in one of the most remote corners of the world’s largest rainforest.
This should not be shocking news, as uncontacted tribes are located and make headlines relatively frequently. There are an estimated 68 isolated civilizations in the Amazon alone. What is disturbing, however, is that governments apparently need to be convinced that these isolated tribes actually exist.
You see, there is a lot of revenue to be generated from developing land and from harvesting natural resources in remote areas, but to do that, the indigenous tribes would have to be removed from their lands, and would face being being thrust into a more modern culture, or being wiped out completely. It’s easier for a body, like a government seeking development contracts and licensing fees and other revenue from logging, mining, etc., to pretend the tribes don’t exist. That way, they don’t have to contend with the National Indian Foundation (FUNAI) in Brazil and other organizations concerned with protecting lands traditionally inhabited by these communities.
What are your thoughts on this issue?
Are there really uncontacted tribes in the Amazon? Should FUNAI and other such organizations and individuals be so concerned with preserving these tribes? Is there benefit to the tribe to be moved into a more modern setting? Does the need for resources outweigh the need to accommodate a handful of tribespeople?