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Ailton Alves Lacerda Krenak (Vale do Rio Doce, Minas Gerais, 1954) is a Brazilian writer, journalist, philosopher and indigenous movement leader of Krenak ethnicity. He was forcibly separated from his people, of which only 130 individuals are left (down from 5,000 at the beginning of the 20th century), at age 9. When he was 17, he and his family migrated to the state of Paraná, where he was alphabetised and became a printing specialist and journalist. Krenak functioned as a representative of indigenous peoples at the debates on the 1988 Brazilian Constitution, where he covered himself in ritual face painting during a speech.

He either co-founded or participated in several indigenous rights organisations, such as the União dos Povos Indígenas (Union of Indigenous Peoples), the Aliança dos Povos da Floresta (Alliance of Jungle-dwelling Peoples), the Núcleo de Cultura Indígena (Nucleus of Indigenous Culture), among others. In 2000, he appeared on TV Escola’s documentary film Índios no Brasil (Indigenous Peoples in Brazil). From 2003 to 2010, Krenak was special aide for indigenous affairs to the governor of Minas Gerais. In 2016, he was awarded an honorary doctorate by the Federal University of Juiz de Fora, where he teaches about culture, history and traditional knowledge of indigenous peoples.

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