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"We live in extreme southern Venezuela, and in a portion of northern Brazil. Our territory encompasses the headwaters of the Ventuari, Erevato, Caura and Paragua rivers. It is a country of abrupt tabletop mountains, endless rainforests and savannas. Our name ye'kuana means "people of the canoes", for we are the only ones capable of navigating the treacherous rapids and waterfalls that have - until today - protected us from the outside world. We are a hunter and slash and burn horticulturist culture. Yet our staple diet of yucca and wild game is today not enough to ward off hunger and disease in our 4000 strong population. We are in dire need of medicine and wish to educate our children in both the ye'kuana and western traditions. We are currently threatened by Brazilian goldminers and a government plan to damn - and flood- a quarter of our territory." Isais Rodriguez, headman of Jodoimen˝a
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