Warm-up: Why is representation important?
Analyzing the Reporting: "This place is also mine': Brazil’s Indigenous on prejudice in the city" by Karla Mendes for Mongabay [video]
- Reflective Writing: Write a one-page paper, or craft a short presentation, on erasure in your community.
- Reflective Writing: Write a one-page paper, or craft a short presentation, on your own experience with erasure.
- Visual Journalism: Karla Mendes utilizes photography and video to share her research on the experiences of Indigenous people living in Brazil’s urban areas. Create a photo series, or a short video, that reflects your own research on the experiences of a person or group who is facing erasure in your community.
Students will be able to...
- Determine central ideas of a video about Indigenous people who are living in Brazil’s cities
- Analyze causes and effects of erasure.
- Use writing skills to connect the story to their own communities.
On their own or with a partner students should answer the following questions:
- What images come to mind when you think of Indigenous communities? What environments or settings do you picture them in?
- Do you think the media accurately represents Indigenous peoples? Why or why not?
- In what ways do you think the representation of Indigenous communities impacts the daily lives of Indigenous peoples?
Take a moment to think about the importance of representation. Discuss the following:
- How well do you think your community is represented in the news, and other media?
- Why is representation important?
- Why is representation important specifically for marginalized communities?
Introducing the Lesson:
More than a third of Indigenous people throughout Brazil, an estimated 315,000 people, live in urban areas. For Indigenous peoples living in urban areas in Brazil, there are unique challenges. Many of these challenges are tied to the stereotypical and often outdated perceptions of Indigenous people in the region.
In the video, "'This place is also mine': Brazil’s Indigenous on prejudice in the city," journalist Karla Mendes explores the experiences of Indigenous individuals in Brazil as they move to urban spaces. In this video, we hear from Indigenous individuals in Brazil as they describe what life is like for them in urban spaces and institutions of higher education. They describe the discrimination and erasure they experience and the inspiring ways in which they combat stereotypes in pursuit of their own goals.
Some useful vocabulary for this lesson:
- Diaspora: a group of people who live outside the area in which they had lived for a long time or in which their ancestors lived
- Erasure: the exclusion of a minority group or group member from the historical record, or from the discussion of current events
- Demarcated: to set apart clearly or distinctly as if by definite limits or boundaries
- Revisionism: asking questions about and trying to change existing beliefs about how events happened or what their importance or meaning is
- Autonomy: the quality or state of being self-governing
Analyzing the Reporting:
As you review the video, respond to the following Comprehension Questions on a separate sheet of paper:
- According to the video, what are some of the reasons that Indigenous people throughout Brazil move to urban areas/cities?
- What are some of the challenges Brazil’s Indigenous peoples experience in urban areas?
- What challenges do Indigenous people experience in higher education throughout Brazil?
- Think about the stereotypical images that come to mind when thinking about Indigenous people, specifically those mentioned in the video. According to the video, what consequences result from the stereotypes placed on Indigenous peoples in Brazil?
- What are some of the ways in which the individuals highlighted in the story combat discrimination and erasure?
- How did the individuals whose stories were highlighted in the reporting describe their relationships to education?
After reviewing the video, utilize your responses to the comprehension questions above to engage with the following discussion questions:
- What from the video stood out to you?
- Why is it important to hear from Indigenous people themselves?
- More generally, why is representation important?
- How, if at all, has your perspective on Indigenous peoples changed after watching this video?
Reflective Writing: Write a one-page paper, or craft a short presentation, on erasure in your community.
Reflective Writing: Write a one-page paper, or craft a short presentation, on your own experience with erasure.
Visual Journalism: Karla Mendes utilizes photography and video to share her research on the experiences of Indigenous people living in Brazil’s urban areas. Create a photo series, or a short video, that reflects your own research on the experiences of a person or group who is facing erasure in your community.
Common Core Standards:
Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary that makes clear the relationships among the key details and ideas.
Additional Resources for Educators:
If you are looking for more lessons and resources related Indigenous issues, explore these options: