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Indigenous people celebrated after Brazil’s Supreme Court ruled to enshrine their land rights, removing the imminent threat those protections could be rolled back.

The justices had been evaluating a lawsuit brought by Santa Catarina state, backed by farmers, seeking to block an Indigenous group from expanding the size of its territorial claim. Nearly all of the high court’s justices voted to support the Indigenous group, which has far-reaching implications for territories nationwide.

Dozens of Indigenous people in traditional yellow feather headdresses and body paint danced, sang and jumped around in front of a multitude of flashing cameras in the capital of Brasilia after the decisive vote was cast. Some wiped away tears of joy.

“Areas occupied by Indigenous people and areas that are linked to the ancestry and tradition of Indigenous peoples have constitutional protection, even if they are not demarcated,” said Justice Luiz Fux, who cast the vote that established the majority.

Source: AP News