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Indigenous Librarianship

Libraries, Archives, and Museums

United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples - Article 31

1. Indigenous peoples have the right to maintain, control, protect and develop their cultural heritage, traditional knowledge and traditional  cultural  expressions,  as  well  as  the  manifestations  of  their sciences,  technologies  and  cultures,  including  human  and  genetic resources,  seeds,  medicines,  knowledge  of  the  properties  of  fauna and flora, oral traditions, literatures, designs, sports and traditional games and visual and performing arts. They also have the right to maintain,  control,  protect  and  develop  their  intellectual  property over  such  cultural  heritage,  traditional  knowledge,  and  traditional cultural expressions. - UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, 2007.

Search the Catalogue and Summon

Search the catalogue subject headings
First Nations - Intellectual Property

Search keywords:

indigenous and "intellectual property"
indigenous and "cultural property"

Selected Resources

Intellectual Property and the Safeguarding of Traditional Cultures: Legal issues and practical options for Museums, Libraries and Archives. Written for the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) by Molly Torsen and Jane Anderson. (2010).

Public Institution Protocols

Indigenous Policy Development

Increasingly public heritage institutions are developing policies and protocols that are responsive to Indigenous interests and access, the care and handling of materials, and cultural and intellectual property considerations.

Selected Resources

 Octopus and Cannonball (Video clip). IFLA keynote presentation by Val Napoleon, Indigenous legal scholar and University of Victoria law professor (IFLA Presidential Programme 2012).

  Find the full webcast here:Webcast and publications Indigenous Knowledges: Local Priorities, Global Contexts (2012).

Australian Indigenous Knowledge and Libraries  Martin Nakata & Marcia Langton, editors (2005) [pdf]

  • Chapter 7: Indigenous knowledge, intellectual property, libraries & archives: Crises of access, control and future utility by Jane Anderson;
  • Chapter 13: Indigenous knowledge and archives: Accessing hidden history and understandings by Lynette Russell;
  • Chapter 15: Indigenous knowledge and archives by Kristen Thorpe;
  • Chapter 16: Libraries, Indigenous Australians and a developing protocols strategy for the library and information sector by Martin Nakata, Alex Byrne, Vicky Nakata and Gabrielle Gardiner.

Related Research Guides

Indigenous Community - Labels