Indigenous Leader from Mato Grosso do Sul State to Represent Brazil at White House Event

Maricelma Cândido will participate in the White House Tribal Youth Forum in Washington D.C. in November.

Brasília, November 6, 2023: Indigenous leader Maricelma Francelino Fialho Cândido, from Mato Grosso do Sul (MS), will take part in the third edition of the White House Tribal Youth Forum, on November 6 in Washington D.C. The event will bring together indigenous leaders aged 18 to 24 from the United States to discuss with high-ranking White House officials the importance of indigenous representation in the federal government, as well as solutions to urgent challenges both within indigenous communities and across the country as a whole, such as climate change, mental health, sovereignty, and food security.

This year, in addition to indigenous participants from the United States, six young leaders from other countries in the Americas were selected to join the Department of State’s Indigenous Youth Leadership Coalition (IYLC) initiative, which aims to integrate young indigenous leaders from the region and participate in the forum. Maricelma Cândido was one of those and will represent Brazil alongside young leaders from Canada, Colombia, Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico.

Maricelma Francelino Fialho Cândido is an indigenous woman from the Terena people, whose community is located in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul (MS). She is a biomedical researcher and a master’s student at the Federal University of Mato Grosso do Sul (UFMS). Her research focuses on infectious diseases, with an emphasis on fungi causing systemic mycoses, particularly prevalent in rural indigenous communities, which, according to her hypothesis, are often neglected and underdiagnosed. Maricelma also serves as Treasurer of the Terena Institute for Intercultural Education and is a participant in Access E2C, an intensive English program for young Black, Indigenous, and professional individuals promoted by the U.S. Embassy and Consulates in Brazil.