Ailton Krenak

Born Sep 29, 1953

Ailton Alves Lacerda Krenak is a Brazilian writer, journalist, philosopher and indigenous movement leader of Krenak ethnicity. He was forcibly separated from his people, of which only 130 individuals are left, at age 9. When he was 17, he and his family migrated to the state of Paraná, where he was alphabetised and became a printing specialist and journalist. Krenak functioned as a representative of indigenous peoples at the debates on the 1988 Brazilian Constitution, where he covered himself in ritual face painting during a speech.
He either co-founded or participated in several indigenous rights organisations, such as the União dos Povos Indígenas, the Aliança dos Povos da Floresta, the Núcleo de Cultura Indígena, among others. In 2000, he appeared on TV Escola's documentary film Índios no Brasil. From 2003 to 2010, Krenak was special aide for indigenous affairs to the governor of Minas Gerais. In 2016, he was awarded an honorary doctorate by the Federal University of Juiz de Fora, where he teaches about culture, history and traditional knowledge of indigenous peoples.
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