Leadership Exchange with the Xavante

At the end of May, 2024, the head of the Treesistance forest guardian program Chief Dadá of TI Maro was invited by the Xavante leadership to discuss the forest protection and have an exchange about leadership, guardianship and education.

The visit was facilitated by Marco van der Ree, Treesistence Strategic Advisor, and Frans Leeuwenberg who is a trusted partner of the Xavante and has been working with them for 35 years on sustainable wildlife management, food security, education and culture.

Dadá was invited by the Xavante leadership to discuss the forest protection and have an exchange about leadership, guardianship and education. The visit was facilitated by Marco van der Ree, Treesistence Strategic Advisor, and Frans Leeuwenberg who is a trusted partner of the Xavante and has been working with them for 35 years on sustainable wildlife management, food security, education and culture.  

The trio were joined by 20 Xavante leaders from 14 different villages participated in two long days under the mango trees in fruitful and deep conversations the importance of integrating culture in the formal and traditional education system and how the culture relates to the territory, the land, the animals, and nature as a whole. The third day was spend travelling around the TI to get to know the terrain and the Eastern border.

The Xavante expressed how inspired they were from Dadás visit, as they have never received a leader from another Indigenous territory to share experiences in dealing with these most important issues of cultural and territorial preservation. It was a profoundly valuable exchange. 

It was obvious that the friendship built in this visit, is the beginning of a much longer journey where these two groups of Indigenous peoples will continue their exchange and mutual learning. We look forward to supporting the Xavante in forming their own groups of forest guardians to protect this incredibly important and strategically positioned territory from extractive industries. Watch this space…

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