In the month of its eighth anniversary, our company celebrated 40 years of relationship with the Xikrin do Cateté indigenous people and took the opportunity to sign a historic agreement, which aims to end 15-year disputes.
Vale, which recently waived all its mining rights in indigenous lands, in a total of 104 lawsuits, wants to initiate a new phase with the Xikrin, guided by dialogue and joint construction.
The area of the Xikrin do Rio Cateté Indigenous Land and the six Conservation Units that Vale helps protect in Southeast Pará, alongside ICMBio, form a massive 1.2 million hectares of conserved forest, equivalent to nine times the city of São Paulo.
To celebrate 40 years of relationship, our president, Eduardo Bartolomeo, visited the mother village of the Xikrin do Cateté, in southeastern Pará, last Wednesday (6/29). Vale has relationships with 13 indigenous peoples in Brazil and this was the first time that a company CEO has visited one of these indigenous territories.
Today we are experiencing a moment of great maturity in the relationship, with a lot of mutual respect and trust. Vale has been in the Amazon for almost 40 years and celebrating an agreement like this, here at the Xikrin’s house, is historic for the company, a game-changer, and one that reflects common interests. We are a nature-based company and so are they. We are going to take very strong steps forward with the aim of improving lives and transforming together the futuresaid Bartolomeo.
Vale’s CEO visited the Xikrin’s mother village, accompanied by the vice presidents of Sustainability, Malu Paiva, and of Ferrosos, Marcello Spinelli, in addition to the directors of the North Corridor, Carlos Mello, and of the South Atlantic Base Metals Operations, Antonio Padovezi.
This agreement writes a new chapter in our history and is the result of a long process of engagement and dialogue, built in a joint and participatory way. We want to strengthen the partnership between the company and the indigenous peoplesaid Malu.
Chief Karangré, representative of the Botiê Xikrin Institute (IBX), commented on the importance of this relationship for his people: “We will continue this partnership with Vale to preserve our culture, our language and nature. The forest is fundamental to us. It has to remain preserved, it’s our oxygen. We do hunting, planting and headdressing for parties.”
Among the main projects of the Xikrin do Cateté supported by Vale is the appreciation and rescue of their memory and culture. Thus, the Memória Xikrin do Cateté Project was born, which has already resulted in two books and the launch of a digital platform on the history of this indigenous people, including a sound collection with songs, ri:tuals and speeches about everyday stories.
The materials were selected by the indigenous people themselves, from a vast collection of photos, drawings, objects and audios carefully recorded by anthropologists Lux Vidal and Isabelle Vidal Giannini over 30 years and donated to the University of São Paulo (USP). The main goal is that current and future indigenous generations can have knowledge of this rich collection.
Our commitment to indigenous communities
In December 2021, during Vale Day at the New York Stock Exchange, we announced our Social Ambition, which has as one of its goals to collaborate with the indigenous communities neighboring all the company’s operations in the development and execution of their plans in search of rights set out in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
Another important milestone of this agenda was Vale’s position against PL 191/2020, on mining in indigenous lands, which reinforces its understanding that all activities that may directly interfere in these territories must strictly respect Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC).
Support for indigenous health is also the result of the four-decade long partnership between Vale and the Xikrin do Cateté. In the last four years alone, over 3,500 health care services were provided in the various areas of medicine for the indigenous population at the Yutaka Takeda Hospital, in the Urban Center of Carajás, kept by the company.
All actions aim at ethnodevelopment, valuing these populations, in addition to protecting forests.
Starting in 2018, we intensified our focus on the topic and revised our strategy by launching a new policy for Vale’s action for indigenous peoples, with the aim of increasing engagement in the agenda and working with a focus on recording and valuing indigenous culture and strengthening its roleadds Camilla Lott, executive manager of Social Management at Vale.