Health and Well-being Education for Indigenous Peoples in Brazil

The United Nations and UNESCO have developed actions on health and well-being education for indigenous populations. These actions were produced in a pedagogical, multilingual, and intercultural manner. Its purpose is to strengthen health education for indigenous peoples in their mother tongue, especially at this time of health crisis, to prevent COVID-19 and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in indigenous schools and in the community contexts where they are located.

This partnership enables Indigenous peoples access to information on the forms of prevention and treatments of COVID-19 and IST/HIV/AIDS and viral hepatitis. The intention is to cooperate in implementing policies that ensure indigenous peoples' rights to qualified health care and formal intercultural education, configured by the practice of bilingual education – Portuguese and indigenous languages – and by the learning processes themselves.

Through respect and recognition of indigenous knowledge, techniques and care, the videos also intend to contribute to the combat of stigma and prejudice experienced by these peoples and maintain their physical and socio-cultural integrity. 

Respect for diversity and socio-cultural specificities is essential to combat prejudice and any forms of discrimination and violence. In this sense, the indigenous peoples' representatives that present the illness and healing processes must be considered in developing policies aimed at this population. In the context of the new coronavirus pandemic, these videos intend to collaborate to disseminate information that contributes to a respectful dialogue with each of these peoples, from whom we have a lot to learn.

Intercultural dialogue between knowledge and practice

The videos below show the experience with the Warao people from the Brazil-Venezuela border on the intercultural dialogue between indigenous knowledge and practices and the knowledge offered by education and health services. The videos have been produced in Warao language to preserve their intangible linguistic knowledge. They include subtitles in Portuguese or Spanish.


Health and Well-being Education for the Warao Indigenous Community

Right to Education for the Warao Indigenous Community


COVID-19 Prevention in a Warao Intercultural Dialogue Perspective

HIV/AIDS Prevention in a Warao Intercultural Dialogue Perspective

Hepatites Prevention in a Warao Intercultural Dialogue Perspective

Syphilis Prevention in a Warao Intercultural Dialogue Perspective


COVID-19 prevention and vaccination for Indigenous peoples

The process of preparing these COVID-19 prevention videos was carried out according to the methodology of intercultural dialogue and in a participatory manner. It involved seven indigenous ethnic groups present in the Amazon and Roraima: Wapichan, Ticuna, Yanomami, Ye'kwana, Macuxi e Taurepang.


Indigenous Ana da Silva Ribeiro from the Wapichan community

Indigenous Dario from the Ticuna community

Indigenous Dario Vitório Kopenawa Yanomami, vice president of the Yanomami Association

Indigenous Edmilson Magalhães, from the Ye’kwana community

Indigenous Elayna Campos Manduca, from the Ticuna community of Umariaçu II

Indigenous Enio Mayanawa from the Yanomami community

Indigenous Keila Jorge, from the Ticuna community of Umariaçu II

Indigenous Lenize Amaro from the Macuxi community

Indigenous Marivel Alves Flores from the Taurepang community

Health, Education and Interculturality: Dialogue with Indigenous Peoples

As a follow-up to a workshop in the Javari Valley to support teachers in Marubo, Matis and Mayoruna (Matsés) areas in their actions to prevent diseases in indigenous schools, as well as in local communities, this film and its accompanying documents are part of the Preventive Education Series for STD/HIV/AIDS and Viral Hepatitis among Indigenous Peoples of Javari Valley (Amazonia, 2012-2014).

More recently, UNESCO Brasilia in partnership with UNAIDS, have started publishing the series Health and Well-being Education Series for Indigenous Peoples, which is extending Health Education in other Amazonia regions. Volume one is dedicated to the Ticuna Indigenous community.

Série Educação em saúde e bem-estar para populações indígenas