Karla Mendes interviews Joenia Wapichana, Brazil’s first Indigenous woman lawyer and President of Brazil’s national Indigenous affairs agency, Funai. Wapichana discusses the thousands of illegal gold mines that have caused a public health emergency in Yanomami Territory, resulting in the deaths of 570 children who suffered from malnutrition and other serious illnesses. Wapichana contends that ensuring public health will require not only the removal of illegal mining, but also a lasting security presence within the area. She explains the need for studies that can identify the lasting impact of mining industries once they have been removed. When asked about ways to decrease prejudice towards Indigenous communities, Wapichana noted the importance of proper terminology and affirming the rights of Indigenous peoples. In the future, Wapichana hopes to be reelected to Congress and to see increased Indigenous representation in government. Photo Credit: Katie Mähler via Apib Comunicação