Chief Watatakalu Yawalapiti

Chief Watatakalu Yawalapiti

Leader, Indigenous Women of the Xingu Territory

Brazil

Biography

Chief Watatakalu Yawalapiti is a Brazilian Indigenous rights defender and activist from the Amazon. Born in 1980, she became involved in environmental and feminist causes at the age of 18 and became a Cacique, a representative of the Yawalapiti people from Xingu territory. Convinced that women are a driving force behind the issues she champions, she is a leading figure of the Indigenous Women of the Xingu Territory (MMTIX) movement, which she coordinates. Her privileged position as leader allows her to represent and act for women who are often silenced.

She is part of Chief Raoni’s inner circle. She accompanied him on his European tour in May and December 2023 and shared his feminist and ecological message with various European leaders, including French President Emmanuel Macron and the President of the German Federal Republic Frank-Walter Steinmeier. She was also Macron and Lula’s guest of honour during the French President’s state visit to Belem on March 24, 2024.

She is the founder of the national movement of Indigenous Women Warriors of the Amazon (ANMIGA), which contributed to the appointment of two Indigenous women to key positions in Lula's government: the Minister of Indigenous Peoples, Sônia Guajajara and the president of the National Foundation for Indigenous Peoples (FUNAI), Joenia Wapichana,

At the international level, since 2019, Watatakalu has formed alliances with numerous Brazilian and international feminist movements. She was recently invited by MIT and Harvard to a series of conferences with American students.