Brazil to host first Indigenous Peoples World Games

Wed Apr 22, 2015 7:47pm EDT
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By Larry Fine

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A year after hosting the soccer World Cup and a year before staging the Summer Olympics, Brazil is set to stage a new international event -- the Indigenous Peoples World Games.

The inaugural games will be held from Sept. 18-27 in Palmas in the northern state of Tocantins.

"It's a very important moment for Brazil," Brazil's Sports Minister, George Hilton, told Reuters through an interpreter in an interview on Wednesday.

"It's a time of exchanging knowledge and it's a good time to promote the indigenous peoples through the games."

Hilton said some 48 ethnicities would be represented among 4,000 athletes from 22 countries.

Brazil, home to nearly 900,000 indigenous peoples from 305 different nations that speak 274 languages, has held a dozen Indigenous Games for its own natives since 1996 and decided to expand the games into a truly international event.

The Brazilians were to make a presentation about the games at the United Nations on Friday to delegations that participate in the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.

A Canadian indigenous leader named Little Child will be speaking at the U.N., Hilton said.   Continued...