The constitutional Rights of the indigenous peoples are expressed in a specific chapter of the Constitution of 1988 (title VIII, "Of the Social Order ", chapter VIII, "of the indigenous peoples"), aside from other regulations throughout the text and an article of the Acts of the Transitory Constitutional Regulations.

This deals with the Rights marked by at least two innovative and important concepts in relation to prior Constitutions and the so-called The Indian Statute. The first innovation is the abandonment of the assimilationist point of view, which considered the indigenous peoples as a transitory social category, destined to disappear. The second innovation is that the rights of the indigenous peoples over their lands are defined in the concept of original rights that are prior to the creation of the State itself. This is a result of the de facto historical recognition that the indigenous peoples were the first occupants of Brazil.

The new Constitution establishes, in this manner, a new outlook for the relations between the State, Brazilian society and the indigenous peoples.