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Brazil's indigenous people being trained as firefighters

  • 12-31-2011

The Xavante are an indigenous people of Mato Grosso state in Brazil, who were forced out of their ancestral land during the farming expansion in the 1970s.

Recently they have been given part of their land back, but it has been deforested.

The Xavante have been trying to regenerate their forest, but the fires set off in neighbouring farming areas have been spreading to their land, stopping the process.

The NGO Alianca da Terra is lead by John Carter, an ex-US Special Forces soldier turned Amazon rancher. He has brought people from the US smokejumpers forest service, to train the Xavante in firefighting.

They have successfully dealt with many fires during the last Amazon fire season and are now starting to feel hopeful about the future.

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Reproduced under licence from BBC News © 2011 BBC

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