Berliner TageBlatt - Chile's president hears indigenous people's concerns on first day in office

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Chile's president hears indigenous people's concerns on first day in office
Chile's president hears indigenous people's concerns on first day in office / Foto: © AFP

Chile's president hears indigenous people's concerns on first day in office

On his first day in office, Chile's president broke new ground by participating in a ceremony with indigenous peoples at the presidential palace before attending mass in Santiago's cathedral.

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Seated in the center of a circle in a courtyard at the presidential palace, Gabriel Boric and the First Lady, Irina Karamanos, listened one by one to concerns and wishes from representatives of seven indigenous tribes.

"Generating intercultural work and a new relation between the government and indigenous peoples is vital to the construction of a just and dignified Chile," Boric, 36, tweeted after the ceremony.

In a statement, the president's office said the ceremony "is part of a new conception of the territory as plurinational where respect, dialogue and participation will be emphasized."

The representatives Boric met with came from the Yagan, Lican Antai, Mapuche Pewenche, Rapa Nui, Mapuche Lafkenche, Diaguita and Mapuche Futa Warria tribes.

When he was sworn in on Friday, Boric broke with tradition by referring to indigenous Chileans, swearing to respect the Constitution before "all Chilean peoples" instead of just "the Chilean people."

After the indigenous ceremony, Boric attended a Catholic mass at the Santiago cathedral with members of his cabinet -- noteworthy for having an average age of 42 and being composed of 14 women and 10 men.

The transport and environment ministers also caused a buzz Saturday by arriving at the presidential palace via public transportation.

T.Bondarenko--BTB