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Primary Health Care unit, Maturaca Yanomani, Rio Negro

Primary Health Care unit, Maturaca Yanomani, Rio Negro

December 1, 2020

Part 2: COVID-19 and Indigenous Peoples of Rio Negro

Last month we learned about COVID-19 and Indigenous Peoples of Rio Negro. Here is an interview with Marivelton Bare of Federation of Indigenous Organizations of Rio Negro with Nia Tero's Amazonia team. Learn more about their work at

Nia Tero: The Negro River was greatly affected by COVID. What was FOIRN's response to COVID?
Marivelton Bare: It convened an Inter-institutional forum of the Municipality of São Gabriel da Cachoeira and established the Inter-institutional Committee for Combating COVID-19, comprised of various stakeholders, to coordinate actions /support, develop control strategies and implement Action Plans with Instituto Socio-ambiental and other partners.

NT: How did FOIRN partners support COVID's response?
MB: FOIRN also recognizes the financial support of its partners, that supported implementation of Action Plans on COVID 19, and enabled FOIRN to act interculturally with a leading role in tackling COVID-19 pandemic, in the absence of government’s support. Without support of the partners, much of the success would not have been possible and the impact of pandemic would have been much more devastating.

NT: What are FOIRN's priorities now?
MB: FOIRN will continue to ensure improved health care, including mental health, communication infrastructure, renewable energy, and culture and traditional knowledge preservation. Also, FOIRN will monitor the health issues, including malaria outbreak, and support the health system

NT: What would you like others to know about FOIRN?
MB: Since 1987, FOIRN as an Indigenous Institution, has been promoting the preservation of the culture of 23 Indigenous peoples of Rio Negro, implementing sustainable development actions, and maintaining the balance between culture, traditional way of life and use of sustainable non-indigenous technologies to preserve life and the forest. Therefore, FOIRN will remain steadfast in defending their territories and forests, as life and culture depend on the standing forest, clean rivers, and protective spirits of the forest in harmony with our existence. This balance guarantees life for the entire planet Earth. Without the Amazon, there is no life and we are the greatest defenders of life!