Critique of Indigenous People in Brazil Wikipedia Article


Overall, I found the “Indigenous people in Brazil” article to be informative with the authors providing appropriate links to topics related to indigenous peoples. However, it still needs some work. While the history was presented chronologically, I found the way some of the information was present to be distracting. For instance, the sections “Distribution” and “First Contacts” seemed counter-intuitively placed given the information they presented. Establishing contact and then the effects would allow the authors to provide more information that tied the sections together. For instance, the distribution section would help to explain the Europeans’ first encounter with indigenous people, and would offer a way to build more information about the groups instead of somewhat dismissing them with the introduction of European contact. However, these two sections are extremely relevant to the topic, and I found their relative placement acceptable. I especially appreciated the “Indigenous Rights Movements” section at the end, as it helped to give some modern information on the status of different groups.

In terms of bias, I saw a slight Western bias coming through, as some of the descriptors seemed to be based on Western terminology, such as “Indian,” and there were a few sections that focused on Westerners “parental” role toward Indigenous peoples, such as “The Jesuits: Protectors of the Indians.” This sections was interesting and somewhat relevant, though it did seem odd that it took up more space than the section on the contemporary situation of indigenous peoples. Finally, the full article did not made reference to or provide extensive coverage of any actual indigenous person beyond that of Rondon. I believe the failure to provide more coverage of indigenous persons themselves is the biggest downfall of this article. That being said, the article did not exhibit a bias that was so overwhelming so as to distract from the overall utility of the article.

Given these two points, I would rate the overall quality of the article as good. It contains an informative and understandable lead section that goes through the different points of the article without providing too much information. The actual article observes a fairly clear chronological order that logically follows from one point to the next, though it does not dedicate enough space to the current situation of indigenous persons, which I think is the article’s biggest failing. Some of that information comes through in the indigenous rights movements section, but that section overwhelms modern information somewhat. While the article makes frequent citations, not every factual claim is corroborated with a reference. The article also links to other relevant Wikipedia articles, which helped provide more background information where necessary. Looking through the sources, they seem to be reputable either from books, .org or .gov websites, or journal articles. However, many of the sources contain information from many years ago; one of the world bank studies is from 2004. Thus, while the sources do generally back of the claims, they are out of date. This, paired with the mild bias and some noticeable grammar and spelling errors, makes the article’s “C” rating seem appropriate, as it is good now, but it could be much better with a little updating and expansion.

Finally, the talk page does address some of the previously-mentioned issues. For instance, some of the discussion on the page revolves around missing links or the need to update links, while other discussion involves missing pieces of the article. An interesting talk page discussion focuses on the lack of coverage on the citizenship status of Brazilian Indigenous Peoples, something that I did not realize was missing, but that would significantly improve the article if added. Another discussion offers a rebuttal to the main article’s information about the religion statistics, something else I did not notice initially, but that now strikes me as odd. The talk page offers some good first steps to improving the article.