Revisiting the Lost Tribe of Brazil

About a year ago we posted a piece about the discovery of an uncontacted tribe in the Brazilian Amazon followed closely by a piece discounting the 'discovery' as a hoax. Thanks to Survival International, we have found that the newspaper that declared the contact as a hoax subsequently retracted their story, albeit with much less fanfare. It turns out that while the tribe's existence was known of, the tribe had never been contacted by non-indigenous people, including government or commercial interests. 
If this small saga seems inconsequential, that would be a mis-reading of the situation. The news of a "lost tribe" made international headlines and brought to the masses some of the problems faced by the world's indigenous peoples. The news that the story was a hoax made nearly as big a splash in the world media, while the retraction of that story never made it out of the paper that started the rumor. This labeling of the event as a hoax left the public with a new feeling of desensitization to the plight of indigenous peoples. If this story was a hoax, what other stories that we hear of the indigenous people are not true? Are there even any uncontacted tribes left? Are there even any indigenous people left? Who cares? 

With this progression of doubt, raised by the false claim of the hoax, the interests of logging and oil companies and the government officials who stand to make millions off of indigenous-held lands were ultimately furthered. In the end, a story publicized in efforts to protect indigenous groups potentially led to the exact opposite. We here at recycled minds see it as a moral imperative that the hoax-calling news organization give equal headline to their retraction, and rerun the original story that sought to share with the world the grim realities faced by indigenous people around the globe. 
In commemoration of the original event, Survival International released a list of the most endangered uncontacted tribes - all in South America. They have also put together a media kit with documents, maps and videos that discuss the issue. 

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  1. Anonymous4:32 PM

    wow, i can't believe this. CRAZY!

  2. Anonymous6:42 PM

    That may have been one of the weakest retractions that I have read!

  3. Anonymous9:33 AM

    A clear case of when word choice REALLY matters.


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