Combate ao Coronavírus – Monitoramento comunitário Terra Indígena Xakriabá / Combating Coronavirus – Community monitoring at Xakriabá Indigenous Land

Combating Coronavirus – Community monitoring at Xakriabá Indigenous Land

Among Covid-19’s many challenges, indigenous populations in Brazil are particularly vulnerable, with greater vulnerability to infectious diseases and dependent on medical system that presents problems of articulation with the state and municipal health departments.

For this reason the Xakriabá People are monitoring their own territory carefully and preliminary results are already available. These results hope to assist in preventing and stopping the spreading of Coronavirus in the Xakriabá Indigenous Land.

Since May, the Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG) started a collaborative action and research strategy with the Xakriabá People. The work has the purpose of making this monitoring action feasible in a race against time – to protect the people before the pandemic hits these more vulnerable territories.

The Xakriabá Indigenous Lands are located in the municipality of São João das Missões, in the north of the state of Minas Gerais.

*** the report is originally in Portuguese and it was translated into English for this blog post ***

The preliminary report:

What is it?

The community monitoring system of the indigenous land Xakriabá, was implemented with the objective of monitoring the movement of people between the indigenous land and its surroundings, in order to produce useful and necessary information to face the Covid-19 Pandemic.


The information should serve at different levels: for health services in the identification of cases of contamination and their monitoring; for leaders to have information to guide their decisions and inform communities; so that families can organise themselves and protect themselves in times of greater contagion.

Based on the results of this monitoring, the community will be able to organise continuous and up-to-date information to promote prevention in coping with Covid-19.

Why is the community monitoring?

The monitoring is being carried out by the Xakriabá people themselves. There are more than 200 people involved in this process, including men, women, students and professionals from different villages in the territory.

How is it being done?

In order for this monitoring to happen a data collection system was implemented in the circulation sites (entrance and exit) of the Xakriabá Indigenous Land.

Leaders of the Xakriabá people banned the entry of non-indigenous people into the territory. Photo credit: Edgar Kanaykõ Xakriabá

Preliminary community monitoring report (from 1st to 7th of June 2020)

Results: A total of 2,889 displacements were recorded in the period from 1st to 7th of June. Each displacement represents an entry or an exit in the Indigenous Land and may have been carried out one or more times by the same person.

It can be seen that a high percentage of people used protection against coronavirus, although 7.7% of the movements were performed without protection. This shows that some people still need to be made aware.

175 displacements (6% of the total) were carried out by people who said they belong to a risk group.

As a result of the community monitoring some highlights are presented: there were 2,889 displacements; 90% of displacements reported using some type of protection against Covid-19; 18% of displacements from Sumaré access reported not using protection; 20% of the trips were stated as visits; 175 trips (6% of the total) were carried out by people in the risk group.

This monitoring is part of an effort to collectively engage the social organisation of Xakriabá, from then on, we will be able to organise continuous and updated information to promote prevention in facing Covid-19.

The CMR team would like to thank the Xakriabá people for sharing this information.