Davi Kopenawa Yanomami
Born around 1956 in Marakana, a native community in the north of the Amazon, Davi Kopenawa is the shaman and representative of the Yanomami people. In 1983, Davi began his fight for the land recognition of the area inhabited by the Yanomami.
For over 25 years, he led tirelessly the national and international campaign to assure his people the right of their territory. An undertaking that made him a recognizable figure in and outside of Brazil. Since 1989, Davi made numerous travel abroad to meet with NGOs and international organizations to secure funding for crucial health and educational projects in his community, as well as to denounce the continuous threats posed by land-grabbers, miners, and farmers in the region. Through his efforts, the Yanomami land was officially recognized by the Brazilian government in 1992, right before the United Nations’ first Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro.
Winner of the UN Global 500 Award in 1989, he was bestowed the Order of Rio Branco by president Fernando Henrique Cardoso in 1999. Davi was also granted an Honorable Mention by the jury of the Spanish Bartolomé de las Casas Prize in 2008.
More recently, Davi received the Medal of Merit recognition by the Municipal Chamber of Boa Vista in 2012, and the Right Livelihood Award for his work in environmental conservation in 2019. In 2021, Davi became a member of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences. He is the co-writer and one of the characters of the film The Last Forest.