The Rights of the Indigenous Peoples of Brazil: Historical Development and Constitutional Acknowledgment

International Journal on Minority and Group Rights

The historical roots of the concept of original rights of the indigenous peoples of Brazil concerning the lands they traditionally occupy, enshrined in Article 231 of the Brazilian Federal Constitution of 1988, refer to the law of nations, taught by Iberian teachers of the 16th and 17th centuries, particularly with regard to the scholastic concept of domain. We also show how the concept of Indigenato, formulated in 1912 by João Mendes Junior, considered over the past decades as the one that best illuminates Article 231 of the Brazilian Constitution of 1988, is entirely founded on this Iberian school of natural law and law of nations, inviting us to a dialogue with the classics.