Walelasoetxeige Suruí, known as Txai Suruí, is a member of the Paiter Suruí people, native of Brazil. Today, she spoke at the opening session of the UN Climate Conference in Glasgow. Here are her words and the ones she exchanged with us.
By Monise Breno | YPA Brazil
Translation: Cristina Uchôa
Walelasoetxeige Suruí, known as Txai Suruí, is 24 years old and lives in the state of Rondônia in Brazilian Amazon. She belongs to the Paiter Suruí people and she is also one of the founders of the Indigenous Youth Movement in the state. Txai is a law student and works in the legal department of the Kanindé Ethno-environmental Defense Association, an institution tha is seen as a reference in matters related to the indigenous cause. She was the only Indigenous person to speak today, at the official opening session of the Climate Conference.
Read Txai Suruí’s speech in full here.
“My name is Txai Suruí, I’m only 24 years old, but my people have been living in the Amazon rainforest for at least 6,000 years. My father, the great chief Almir Suruí, taught me that we must listen to the stars, to the moon, to the wind, to animals and to trees. Today the climate is warming up, animals are disappearing, rivers are dying, our crops are not flourishing as they used to. The Earth is talking. She tells us that we don’t have any more time.
A companion said: are we going to continue thinking that with some little painkillers the blows from the present will be resolved, although we know that tomorrow the wound will be bigger and deeper?
We need to take another path with bold and global changes. It’s not 2030 or 2050, it’s now!
While you close your eyes to reality, the forest keeper Ari Uru-I-Wau-Wau, my childhood friend, was murdered for protecting nature.
Indigenous peoples are at the forefront of the climate emergency, so we must be at the center of decisions taking place here. We have ideas to delay the end of the world.
Let’s curb the issuing of untruthful and irresponsible promises; let’s end the pollution of empty words, and let’s fight for a liveable future and present.
It is always necessary to believe that the dream is possible.
May our utopia be a future on Earth.
After his speech, Txai Surui spoke to Luciano Frontelle, a young man from the Youth Press Agency network (YPA/AJN) who is in Glasgow for the young & educommunicative press coverage of the COP26. In this video, the activist sais that it was difficult to prepare her speech. She also raises some important issues about the central role of native peoples in the fight for the preservation of the environment: “What we still missing people say during this time is about some more of the reality of the indigenous peoples who are suffering, all the violence that we are suffering, show the struggle and also the solutions that we have. In addition to all the struggle we fight for the protection of our territories, for the protection of the forest, we also have climate solutions for that, sustainable solutions, which already fully exist and that indigenous peoples have. We miss people talking about the traditional wisdom of indigenous peoples in the search for climate harmony”.
Luciano Frontelle asked here what the people in Brazil can do to help. Txai answered that they have to support indigenous peoples’ cause and organizations, they have to talk about everything that is happening in the country, support the voice of Brazilian activists who are fighting for climate justice. And also Brazilians should speak more about climate change. Climate change should be an agenda that should reach everywhere, it should be accessible to everyone, because everyone will suffer from it.