Federal deputy Joênia Wapichana (Rede-RR) confirmed that she will assume the presidency of the National Indian Foundation at the invitation of president-elect Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. First indigenous woman elected for the Chamber of Deputies in 2018, the lawyer was not re-elected this year. On the other hand, she is in the process of becoming the first indigenous person to head the indigenist body.
In the late afternoon of today, Lula published, on Twitter, a photo of himself with Joênia, highlighting the fact that, “for the first time”, Funai was presided over by an indigenous woman. “New times for Brazil”, wrote the president-elect. Shortly afterwards, the deputy herself republished Lula’s message, adding a statement: “Challenge accepted!”
Funai is currently linked to the Ministry of Justice and Public Security, but as of next Monday (1), when Lula and his deputy, Geraldo Alckmin, take office, it will become part of the organization chart of the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples, a folder created by the future government and which will be headed by another indigenous woman, the elected federal deputy Sônia Guajajara (Psol-SP).
Yesterday (29), after appointing Sônia to head the new ministry, Lula anticipated that indigenous people would also head Funai and the Special Secretariat for Indigenous Health (Sesai), of the Ministry of Health.
“They [indígenas] they are more than prepared to work on their problems and solve their problems”, said the president-elect, expressing that he was “happy” to appoint the first indigenous minister in Brazilian history. “I spoke with Sônia Guajajara who [esta será] a new experience that we all have to work towards [nos] help.”
On her personal Twitter account, Sonia wrote that she feels honored and happy. “More than a personal achievement, this is a collective achievement of indigenous peoples, a historic moment of the principle of reparation in Brazil. The creation of the Ministry is the confirmation of the commitment that Lula assumes with us”.