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Indigenist health and the challenges of the indian particip(action)

This analysis of the indian participation in the indigenist health system takes as empirical reference the process of the Tentehar-Guajajara (Amarante) in the Casa de Apoio à Saúde do Índio (CASAI /Pole-Base Guajajara and in the Special Indian Health District in Maranhão / DSEI-MA, from the year 2000 to 2007. The analysis aims to understand whether indian participation is carried out and how it is done in the current model of indigenist health system; it seeks to identify the possibilities of respect to ethnic diversity through indian participation, established in the National Policy of Attention to the Health of the Indian People. The research shows that the Tentehar-Guajajara are continuously trying to participate on all questions related to the Indigenist policies, including health policies. Despite the official mechanisms of participation in the Indigenist health, the indians have created their own strategies in order to be part of this process. The need to set these strategies signals that the conduction of the Indigenist health in the DSEI-MA contradicts what is determined by the official documents as one of their main objectives: to create the necessary conditions for Indian participation.

Public Policies; Indian People; Indian Participation; Indigenist Health; Diversity


Faculdade de Saúde Pública, Universidade de São Paulo. Associação Paulista de Saúde Pública. Av. dr. Arnaldo, 715, Prédio da Biblioteca, 2º andar sala 2, 01246-904 São Paulo - SP - Brasil, Tel./Fax: +55 11 3061-7880 - São Paulo - SP - Brazil
E-mail: saudesoc@usp.br