My experience during the Campus B Indigenous Rights has been nothing short of amazing, I had some expectations on what to expect these expectations were based on my own experiences regarding indigenous rights here in New Zealand and what we had been taught through the New Zealand education system. I also had my own view on issues regarding Indigenous rights and the topic of Indigenous rights.
The Campus B Indigenous Rights program educated me on the issues and harsh realities that the indigenous people of Brazil face every day, the program included guest lecturers from Brazil who are both experts in their academic fields but also activists for the Brazilian Indigenous Rights movement. These lecturers and guest speakers were not your typical mundane lecturer, these were people passionate about the fight for Indigenous rights, these were people speaking to us mid protest, these were people who wanted to make a positive change.
All speakers and lecturers provided us with a full insight into the multiple fronts of the fight/movement for Indigenous Rights. This ranged from the preservation of Indigenous Art and Culture, Land, Indigenous Women, Indigenous Influencers, Politics, The Education System and many more. All speakers provided us with great insight into all topics and challenged my existing views on indigenous rights and corrected my assumption that the time of colonisation ended. This was very moving for me as I assumed that all countries had implemented a base level of legal rights and protections for Indigenous people that are equal to non-indigenous people. I was wrong, the speakers educated us on how Indigenous people in Brazil had limited Rights and little to no protections, this raised many concerns.
One of the best things about the Campus B Indigenous Rights program is that I was not alone, I was part of a larger group of students from both Brazil and New Zealand. Having people from all different backgrounds, opinions, assumptions and views made this program that much better because we all supported each other, We learned together, we worked together, and we laughed together. This program is an opportunity to see not just how we can improve Indigenous Rights in Brazil but also an opportunity to see how we can improve the world, working with all these amazing people both staff and students from both Brazil and New Zealand was an experience that I will cherish. Special thanks to Gabriela, Sara and Talita for being there for us every step of the way.