Phone: (306) 373-5311


Protecting Indigenous Knowledge and Heritage: A Global Challenge

Price: $ 36.00 Back

Marie Battiste and James (Sákéj) Youngblood Henderson

336 pages, index, bibliography, paper; 6 x 9, spring, 2000
ISBN 1-895830-15-X / ISBN13 978-1895830-156

Indigenous peoples have the right to practice and revitalize their cultural traditions and customs ... as well as ... the restitution of cultural, intellectual, religious and spiritual property taken without their free and informed consent or in violation of their laws, traditions and customs.
Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, United Nations Working Group on Indigenous Populations

Table of Contents

Part I
The Lodge of Indigenous Knowledge in Modern Thought

1: Eurocentrism and the European Ethnographic Tradition
 Assumptions About the Natural World
 Assumptions About Human Nature
 Assumptive Quandaries
 The Ethnographic Tradition

2: What is Indigenous Knowledge?
 Decolonizing the Eurocentric Need for Definitions
 Entering Uncharted Territory
 Locating Indigenous Knowledge
 Traditional Ecological Knowledge
 The Transmission of Indigenous Knowledge

Part II
Towards an Understanding of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples to Their Knowledge and Heritage

3: The Concept of Indigenous Heritage Rights
 International Definition of Indigenous
 Indigenous Knowledge and Heritage
 Sacred Ecologies and Legal Corollaries
 Interconnected Rights
 Indigenous Knowledge as Intellectual Property
 Indigenous Legal Systems

4: The Importance of Language for Indigenous Knowledge
 Indigenous Languages and the Natural World
 The Eurocentric Illusion of Benign Translatability
 Consequences of the Eurocentric Illusion

5: Decolonizing Cognitive Imperialism in Education
 The School System
 Cognitive Clashes
 Decolonizing the System
 Educational Contexts

6: Religious Paradoxes
 Divine Order and Secular Law
 Correcting False Translations
 Freedom from Missionaries
 Sacred Healing Sites
 Tourism, Vandalism, and Problems of Privacy
 Right to Harvest and Use Ceremonial Materials in Religious Practices
 Indigenous Burial Grounds
 Return and Reburial of Ancesters' Remains and Artifacts

7: Paradigmatic Thought in Eurocentric Science
 Medical Research and "Biopiracy"
 Genetic Diversity in Agricultural Biotechnology

8: Ethical Issues in Research
 Eliminating the Eurocentric Bias in Research
 RCAP Ethical Guidelines for Research in Canada
 Canadian Research Councils Policy Statement of Ethical Conduct on Research on Human Subjects
 Breaches of Confidentiality of Sacred Knowledge
 Community Control of Research
 Professional Organizations and Ethics

9: Indigenous Heritage and Eurocentric Intellectual and Cultural Property Rights
 Culture Versus Nature
 Recovery of Sacred and Ceremonial Objects
 Communal Rights to Traditional Designs in Modern Artworks
 Cultural Appropriation
 Issues in the Performing Arts
 Advertising Use of Indigenous Peoples and Arts

Part III
Exising Legal Régimes and Indigenous Knowledge and Heritage

10: The International Intellectual and Cultural Property Régime
 UN Human Rights Conventions and Covenants
 The International Intellectual Property Régime
 Technology, "Know-how", and Trade Secrets
 International Trade and Aid Measures
 Protection of Folklore
 Special International Instruments Concerned with Indigenous Peoples

11: The Canadian Constitutional Régime
 Interpreting the Constitution of Canada
 Indigenous Knowledge and Heritage as an Aboriginal Right

12: The Canadian Legislative Régime
 Federal Cultural Property Law
 Federal Intellectual Property Law
 Federal Common Law
 Provincial Law

Part IV
The Need for Legal and Policy Reforms to Protect Indigenous Knowledge and Heritage

13: Rethinking Intellectual and Cultural Property
 Moral Rights
 Personality or Publicity Rights
 Patents, Trademarks, and Passing Off
 The Commodification of Culture

14: Current International Reforms
 United Nations Decade of the World's Indigenous Peoples (1995-2004)
 Draft Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (1994)
 Protecting Traditional Ecological Knowledge

15: Enhancing Indigenous Knowledge and Heritage in National Law
 National Protection Strategies
 Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits
 The Importance of Indigenous Use and Management of Ecosystems
 Present Status of Ecologically Related Knowledge
 Effective Protection of Knowledge and Practices

16: Canadian Policy Considerations
 National Protection Strategies
 Report of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples
 Operational Principles
 Canadian Reforms
 International Reforms

Part V

Acts, Regulations, and Guidelines
Legal Cases

Whether the approximately 500 million Indigenous Peoples in the world live in Canada, the United States, Australia, India, Peru, or Russia, they have faced a similar fate at the hands of colonizing powers. That has included assaults on their language and culture, commercialization of their art, and use of their plant knowledge in the development of medicine, all without consent, acknowledgement, or benefit to them.
The authors paint a passionate picture of the devastation these assaults have wrought on Indigenous peoples. They illustrate why current legal regimes are inadequate to protect Indigenous knowledge and put forward ideas for reform. This book looks at the issues from an international perspective and explores developments in various countries including Canada, the United States, Australia, New Zealand, and also at the work of the United Nations and all relevant international agreements.   

Dr. Marie Battiste is a Mi’kmaq from Unama’kik (Cape Brenton, Nova Scotia), and a graduate of Harvard and Stanford. She is a professor in the Department of Educational Foundations, and Academic Director or the Aboriginal Education Research Centre, both at the University of Saskatchewan, and a United Nations technical expert on the guidelines for protecting Indigenous heritage. She is the editor of several books including First Nations Education in Canada and Reclaiming Indigenous Voice and Vision.

James (Sa’ke’j) Youngblood Henderson is Chickasaw, born to the Bear Clan of the Chickasaw Nation and Cheyenne Tribe in Oklahoma. He was one of the first American Indians to graduate in law from Harvard University. He is a member of the University of Saskatchewan’s College of Law and is Research Director of the University of Saskatchewan Native Law Centre. He is the author and editor of many books including Mi’kmaq Concordat; The Road: Indian Tribes and Political Liberty; Aboriginal Tenure in the Constitution of Canada; and Continuing Poundmaker and Riel’s Quest. He is a leading advocate of the rights of Indigenous peoples in Canada and the international forum.

Price: $ 36.00 Back

Subscribe to the UBC Press Newsletter for Free!

Enter in your email address to be updated on new book releases!