Intellectual Property Issues in Heritage Management

Intellectual Property Issues in Heritage Management
Intellectual Property Issues
in Heritage Management
Part 2: Legal Dimensions, Ethical Considerations,
and Collaborative Research Practices
George Nicholas, Catherine Bell, Rosemary Coombe,
John R. Welch, Brian Noble, Jane Anderson,
Kelly Bannister, and Joe Watkins
George Nicholas, Department of Archaeology, Simon Fraser University,
Burnaby, British Columbia, V5A 1S6, Canada ([email protected])
Catherine Bell, Faculty of Law, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta,
T6G 2H5, Canada ([email protected])
Rosemary Coombe, Senior Canada Research Chair in Law,
Communication and Culture, York University, 4700 Keele Street North,
Toronto, Ontario, M3J 1P3, Canada ([email protected])
John R. Welch, Department of Archaeology, School of Resource and
Environmental Management, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby,
British Columbia, V5A 1S6, Canada ([email protected])
Brian Noble, Associate Professor, Sociology & Social Anthropology, Dalhousie University, 6135 University Avenue, Halifax, Nova Scotia,
B3H4P9, Canada ([email protected])
Jane Anderson, Institute for Law and Society, School of Law, New York
University, 40 Washington Square, New York, New York, 10012, USA
([email protected])
Kelly Bannister, POLIS Project on Ecological Governance, University of
Victoria, PO Box 3050, University House 4, University of Victoria,
Victoria, British Columbia, V8W 3R4, Canada ([email protected])
Joe Watkins, Native American Studies, University of Oklahoma, 633 Elm
Avenue, Room 216, Norman, Oklahoma, 73019, USA ([email protected])
Heritage
Management, Volume 3, Issue 1, Spring 2010, pp. 000–000.
Copyright © 2010 Left Coast Press, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Cultural heritage is comprised of a wide array of expressions of human
knowledge and creativity, ranging from stories, songs, and traditions — and
the language by which they are conveyed — to the various physical manifestations of human enterprise. It is a melding of the tangible and the intangible.
Although substance and meaning are inseparable in cultural heritage, it is the
tangible that has been given the greatest attention in heritage management.
This is not surprising given that the conservation of objects and localities
may be grounded in physical necessity or juridical laws that strive to balance
economic interests with varied rationale for heritage preservation; intangible
heritage arises, transforms, and takes on priority and meaning with individual
and collective knowledge systems, legal orders, preferences and aesthetics.
The focus on tangible cultural heritage in law and policy, often at the
expense of the interlinked nuances and inseparable relations between the tangible and the intangible, has much to do with the physicality (and hence visibility) of the tangible. For instance, a building or a ceremonial object is much
easier to recognize and identify than an idea or a system of knowledge structures. This matters not only in terms of “identifying” the cultural heritage object, but also — for the purposes of management — monitoring its movement
from place to place and/or any anticipated threats to the preservation of the
object/s. With tangible cultural heritage it is much easier to measure loss and/
or the potential for damage. With intangible cultural heritage, this is much
more difficult, which is why a new set of management strategies for intangible
cultural heritage is needed.1
Most or all tangible cultural resources have intangible components in the
form of associations and significance. Likewise, many intangible resources
have tangible components and in some instances, and among some societies,
the distinction between tangible and intangible, or cultural and “other property” is incomprehensible, inappropriate, or inadequate (Bell and Napoleon
2008b:7). In short, without recognizing the intangible dimensions of heritage,
tangible “cultural property” or “heritage” has little or no meaning or value
(Hollowell and Nicholas 2009:144).
This is the second of a two-part contribution to Resources that explores
the nature of intellectual property (IP) issues affecting cultural heritage and
identifies sources of information that will be useful to archaeologists, cultural
and archaeological resource managers, and other heritage stewards, including members of source and descendent communities and peoples. In Part 1,
we outlined the general nature of IP in the realm of cultural heritage, and
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then recommended readings and web sites dealing with longstanding and
emergent management issues. We also provided resources directed to four
specific areas of cultural heritage where IP issues have become prominent: 1)
Appropriation and Commodification of Cultural and Intellectual Property; 2)
Access, Control, and Dissemination of Heritage Information; 3) Intellectual
Property Issues in Bioarchaeology and Genetics; and 4) Intellectual Property
and Related Issues in Cultural Tourism.
The themes reviewed in Part 1 explored where and why IP issues have
emerged, both in the public arena and within the realm of professional heritage management. In this concluding piece we consider some of the overarching issues that frame those developments and guide efforts to resolve
or avoid problems encountered in heritage management. We also explore
the legal and ethical dimensions of IP, as well as the collaborative research
approaches that constitute good practice. Our use of “legal” here is not limited to conventional understandings of law (e.g., statutes, codified law and
judicial interpretation). Rather, we recognize that the concept of law is not
a universal one; ultimately “what is law is entirely bounded by culture” (Bell
and Napoleon 2008b:5). The concept of law adopted in our work thus includes Indigenous legal systems (often referred to as “customary law”), other
rich forms of “custom” or “law” evidenced through practice, convention, adherence or reasoning processes (e.g., international norms), and vernacular
systems for discriminating right from wrong (including ethical guidelines,
codes of conduct and cultural protocols). As in Part 1, the resources recommended here are offered as samplers to illustrate the types of issues that may
be encountered in heritage management, and to suggest avenues for further
exploration and discussion.
Why Are Legal, Ethical,
and Practical Issues Important?
The challenges we face in dealing with IP issues in cultural heritage are the
result of complex webs of societal encounters, power relations, and historical
circumstances. In many parts of the world, the politically dominant society
has roots elsewhere, creating potential for competing worldviews, values, and
legal and cultural systems. In the context of so-called settler societies (such
as Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United States), heritage management emerges as a site for a type of cross-cultural dialogical endeavor,
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albeit one “rife with methodological and ethical challenges” (Liamputtong
2008:3). Indeed, with regard to Indigenous peoples within these states, there
are outstanding questions of jurisdictional authority within their territories,
such that the methodological challenges are also constitutional if not interpolitical ones. The challenge is not just dealing with the practicalities of doing
fieldwork with communities (Watkins and Ferguson 2005) or assessing site
significance (Hardesty and Little 2000), but of understanding the very nature
of heritage — that is, what constitutes “heritage” or the relationship between
tangible and intangible heritage (Bell and Napoleon 2008b; Watkins and Beaver 2008; Watkins 2005), and of understanding that there may be contested
authority over what may count as “heritage.”
There are at least two broad reasons for considering intangible cultural
heritage in the context of heritage management. The first reason derives from
human rights principles, ethical considerations, and common sense (Coombe
2009). Consider, for example, the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA
1966), and the U.S. Congress’ explicit purpose in creating this legislation.2
Paraphrased here, the NHPA’s first section is one of the earliest statements of
principles to guide heritage management in the United States, notably:
• History and culture are the foundations for national and communal
spirit, direction, and orientation;
• Cultural heritage deserves conservation as a vital element of living
communities;
• Preservation of irreplaceable cultural heritage serves national,
educational, aesthetic, scientific, and economic interests; and
• Collaborative partnerships among governments at all levels, corporations, institutions, and individuals are required to expand and enhance
cultural heritage management.
In more explicit terms, when management decisions affect cultural heritage, they also affect people and communities — sometimes in direct and
damaging ways. A combination of bureaucratic expediency and market
forces has redirected much heritage management practice to a comparably
sterile cultural resource management (CRM) emphasis on buildings, sites,
objects, and undertakings (King 1998:6–19; Smith 2006). Nonetheless, cul-
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tural heritage, especially places, objects and traditions linked to the spirits and
vitalities of distinctive communities and peoples deserve protection — or at a
minimum, careful consideration before being altered, destroyed, or appropriated for new uses. Normative and practical considerations, including those
articulated above, are rarely offered in isolation, and vary among peoples and
places. Of particular significance is the connection between cultural heritage
and identity. Cultural heritage is an important expression not only of individual creative processes but also of individual and group spiritual, cultural, and
political life. It is for this reason that “controlling, removing, and destroying
cultural heritage is such an effective tool of domination” (Harding 1999:335;
also Bell and Napoleon 2008b; Pettipas 1994) and why “destruction and degradation of cultural heritage is so central to oppressive regimes around the
world” (Kymlicka 1989:175–176).
Where Indigenous peoples’ cultural heritage is in issue, efforts to protect land and other physical representations of their heritage is often part of
a broader project of decolonization that acknowledges the inextricable link
between cultural heritage and the maintenance, strengthening, transmission
and renewal of Indigenous peoples’ identity, knowledge, laws and practices
(Daes 1995). For example, contemporary issues in cultural heritage management of Blackfoot tribes in Canada and the United States are increasingly
connected to preservation, stewardship, and protection of significant places
and landscapes within their traditional territory, ongoing social and spiritual
obligations to the landscape and associated Blackfoot knowledge and other
intangible heritage and all that this embodies.3 Progress has been made to
protect and recover knowledge associated with material culture through repatriation4 and some significant places have been protected through special
designation.5 Still, protection, retention, and communication of knowledge
inherent in special landscapes, including archaeological sites, continues to
be of pressing concern where significant resource (and other) development
activity affecting the land poses an ongoing and increasing threat. Of equal
concern is recognition of treaty rights and the question of Canada and the
United States’ unmet obligations in such people-to-people formal alliances.6
Jurisdiction is an abiding issue in any discussions of how heritage resources
are to be considered and handled.
This leads to the second reason to consider intangible cultural heritage in the context of heritage management; that is, the existence of statutes and regulations more familiar to heritage management professionals.
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Legal mandates — especially those affecting the complex relationships among
Indigenous and non-Indigenous groups — exist in federal and local statutes,
regulations, court decisions, and policies, including those codified by tribes,
bands and other Indigenous communities (Welch et al. 2009). Many of these
rules carry implications for professional practice by requiring the identification and assessment of cultural heritage values in the course of government
planning and decision making, however. Most procedural requirements boil
down to looking (and consulting) before you leap, rather than specific protections (Zellmer 2001).7 That said, with regard to Indigenous peoples, we need
also to apprehend emergent and shifting interaction of such laws and protocols with their laws, and with treaty-related obligations.8
Recognizing and Protecting Intangible
and Tangible Heritage
Although historic conservation and heritage management legislation, such as
the U.S. National Historic Preservation Act, are not generally created to protect intangible cultural resources, the view that conceptual, oral, and behavioral traditions may be disregarded in the course of government-sponsored
projects and programs is increasingly indefensible. In countries such as Canada, consultation with a view to accommodating these concerns is constitutionally protected and legally mandated. Nonetheless, even in regimes where
some legal protection is given, it is not uncommon for matters of cultural
heritage to be considered by non-Indigenous decision makers to be of less significance than “way of life rights” (e.g., hunting and fishing), or for destruction
or site excavation necessary for resource development (e.g., mining, forestry,
hydro) to be allowed for the benefit of the broader public, of which Indigenous occupants of a given area are only considered a part (Bell 2001; Ziff and
Hope 2008). Only in limited instances do Indigenous peoples have a role in
the final decision-making process.
United Nations’ Initiatives
Not all of the relevant codified law is as local as these statutory frameworks
suggest. There have been extensive efforts in international law and policy to
develop new rights, norms, and standards for recognizing, protecting, and
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safeguarding Indigenous and community cultural heritage that deserve the attention of heritage management professionals. Unfortunately, these are found
in a number of distinct legal instruments, rather than in one holistic regime
(Marrie 2009). The two most important benchmarks are the 2007 United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (the Declaration) and
the 1989 ILO Convention (No. 169) Concerning Indigenous and Tribal Peoples
in Independent Countries (ILO Convention 169). Both of these instruments
make it clear that Indigenous peoples have rights to be consulted and to participate in decision-making activities that involve their cultural heritage and,
more particularly, their essential rights to traditional territories, to maintain
their lifestyles and retain their cultural identities, all of which may be implicated by heritage management.
The Declaration contains numerous provisions expressed as rights that,
when put into effect by the states that have signed it, will provide extensive
protection for intangible cultural heritage. Some of the most pertinent of
these recognize Indigenous peoples’ rights to (1) “revitalize, use, develop,
and transmit to future generations their histories, languages, oral traditional
philosophies . . . and to designate and retain their own names for communities, places, and persons”; (2) “maintain, protect, and develop the past, present, and future manifestations of their cultures, such as archaeological and
historical sites, artifacts, designs, ceremonies, technologies, and visual and
performing arts and literature”; and (3) “maintain, control and develop their
IP over such cultural heritage, traditional knowledge, and traditional cultural
expressions.”9
Indigenous peoples and the their political organizations have already
adopted and are acting upon the most salient provisions of the Declaration,
especially those associated with free and prior informed consent (FPIC).10
Principles of FPIC provide minimum standards to be followed by any party
seeking to approach Indigenous peoples and communities on matters concerning their heritage. Moreover, they may constitute incipient means of asserting jurisdiction in instances where encompassing states have been intransigent in recognizing the authority of Indigenous peoples to control their own
cultural knowledges and practices. The over-arching issue here is the modernist presumption that the statist form of society has political status and that
Indigenous groups do not. However, this position is one that is gradually but
increasingly being challenged by scholars and activists alike.11
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Other International Initiatives
Indigenous collective heritage rights also enjoy normative support of many of
the world’s international policy-making bodies, even if national legislation has
not widely ensued. Although the Declaration contains the most expansive set of
principles and provisions for recognition and protection, recent initiatives undertaken by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), the Conference
of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), and UNESCO all
indicate that these principles are becoming internationally accepted as norms to
guide state conduct. Hence, even those states that have not ratified the Declaration or put legislation implementing its principles in place have, through their international practices, shown adherence to principles governing state obligations
to Indigenous peoples. For example, the CBD is an international legal treaty with
more than 193 state signatories, including Canada and the United States. It has
three objectives: 1) the conservation of biological diversity; 2) its sustainable use;
and 3) the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising from the utilization of
genetic resources. The Convention of the Parties (the group made up of all states
that have ratified the Treaty) have called upon member governments:
. . . with the approval and involvement of Indigenous and local communities’ representatives, to develop and implement strategies to
protect traditional knowledge, innovations and practices based on a
combination of appropriate approaches, respecting customary laws
and practices, including the use of intellectual property mechanisms,
sui generis systems, customary law, the use of contractual arrangements, registers of traditional knowledge, and guidelines and codes
of practice.
The Ad Hoc Open-ended Inter-Sessional Working Group on Article 8(j)
of the CBD, concerned with access to and fair and equitable benefit sharing
of genetic resources, is also obliged to address potential components of a sui
generis (unique) regime for the protection of traditional knowledge (CBD
1998). Reference to a sui generis regime means that new law will not necessarily take the form of Western intellectual property law. Indigenous peoples
participating in these meetings have argued that Indigenous customary law
provides an important, if not primary source of norms and means for protection (e.g., Solomon 2004) and all guidelines on Article 8(j) have recognized the
importance of customary laws in establishing governing protocols.
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Other examples of international support include the work of WIPO and
the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage
(ICHC). WIPO, the UN body responsible for the administration of intellectual property rights, has become an important forum for the negotiation of
principles to protect traditional knowledge and intangible cultural heritage
through the work of its Intergovernmental Committee on Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore (the IGC).12 Representatives of Indigenous peoples have had a voice in this process. However, neither WIPO
(nor its Committees) make law or even legally binding treaties. It can only
establish principles based upon negotiations amongst the member states to
which it owes primary allegiance and accountability. State governments are
not obliged to pass laws based upon these principles, but because WIPO does
extensive research into the “best practices” for states to meet their obligations
under other international legal treaties, such as the CBD, TRIPs, and international human rights treaties, their work is very influential.
More recently, over 87 state parties became signatories to the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICHC) in 2007,
which, although it provides less clear protection for Indigenous peoples specifically, clearly aims to identify, document, research, preserve, protect, enhance, and revitalize cultural heritage with the participation of communities,
ensuring access to intangible cultural heritage while “respecting customary
practices governing access to specific aspects of such heritage” (Article 12 (d)
(ii)). Indeed, state parties are obliged “to ensure the widest possible participation of communities, groups, and where appropriate individuals that create,
maintain and transmit such heritage and to involve them actively in its management” (Article 15) (Ahmed et al. 2008; Blake 2009).
Despite these developments, there remain a range of pressing questions
about the translation of evolving international rights norms and heritage
principles back into national and local contexts (Noble 2007). For example,
what does it mean to responsibly do research involving cultural heritage given these new and developing international standards? Who is accountable
for developing appropriate strategies that adhere and reflect these newly articulated relationships between rights and (tangible and intangible) heritage?
Without new national legislation or policy, where can information or guidance be found that reflects best practices and begins the process of incorporating Indigenous values and perspectives into cultural heritage research and
management processes?
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Surveying the spectrum of interests and parties currently engaged with
cultural heritage and cultural heritage management issues, multiple sites appear. These range from individual and collaborative research processes to
university ethics review committees to institutional management approaches.
However, different practices may need to be incorporated and re-evaluated at
various stages. This might mean, for example, that the local community sets
some guidelines for the process, ownership of the research, and delivery of the
results, including updated information about use of research results, where
results are being kept and who will be responsible for managing information
in the future. Correspondingly, it might mean that a cultural institution (e.g.,
a museum, library, and or archive) manages a specific collection of material
with regard to Indigenous cultural values alongside those of the “public.” Further, it might mean that universities or other institutions that sponsor cultural
heritage research provide practical workshops about IP law and the relationships to Indigenous cultural rights before researchers enter the field. The latter may help researchers come to terms with the legal and ethical responsibilities that they have, not only to the communities with whom they work, but to
their own research practice.13
Some Recommended Practices
in Collaborative Research
This section discusses strategies and practices that facilitate the identification
of IP issues and the avoidance of conflicts between and among professionals
and local or descendent communities. The value of public and communitybased collaborations is well established for transforming relationships between cultural heritage professionals and peoples affected by their research,
and for understanding and jointly addressing concerns relating to protection
and control of cultural heritage as understood by affected communities, and
for sharing benefits (Hollowell and Nicholas 2009). As Greenhill and Dix explain, “a reflexive approach is essential because it promotes community inclusion and confronts the traditional exclusivity in academic culture of research expertise. By sharing experiences and fostering a collaborative culture
through research, we can learn from communities and we can undertake
more meaningful research” (2008:49).
Collaborative community-level projects (or case studies) have proven
both necessary and beneficial to understand how, when, and why IP issues
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emerge when researchers are dealing with the intersection of different worldviews, value systems, and legal regimes (see Bell and Napoleon 2008a; Bell
and Paterson 2009; and others).
Increasingly, cultural heritage professionals working within and outside
of academia are being compelled by professional and institutional codes of
ethics, research protocols of Indigenous communities and organizations, and
policies of funding agencies to engage in collaborative research, particularly
in the context of research that affects Indigenous lands or engages Indigenous
peoples through interviews or other means of research involving humans.
For example, the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
Studies developed its Code of Ethics for Indigenous Research in 2002. It has
since become the benchmark for any research involving Indigenous peoples
within Australia and currently sets the standard for such research in university, government and industry contexts. In Canada, an overarching policy,
the Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving
Humans, governs university research funded by the three federal granting
councils. Having recently undergone an extensive revision, the second edition
of the Tri-Council Policy Statement has specific chapters on research involving Aboriginal peoples and qualitative research that underscore the importance of collaborative approaches in research involving communities.14 While
still held within the decision-making and legal structures of the state, such
initiatives allow the possibility of acting upon Indigenous peoples’ authority
in regard to intangible heritage.
The widespread call for collaborative research is generally in response to
concerns expressed by Indigenous communities that standard research practices have facilitated the project of colonization. Moreover, there is a growing
appreciation by non-Indigenous cultural heritage professionals of biases and
harms inherent in old methodologies and the mutual knowledge benefits of
collaborative work. Through the very framing of historical knowledge gathering projects, many western scientific and social scientific research projects
have functioned to further projects of colonization (e.g., Bowrey and Anderson 2009; Flessas 2008; Tsosie 1999).15 Geared to non-Indigenous audiences,
the standard premise was that research on Aboriginal peoples was of universal benefit and so direct local impacts need not be considered. The concept
of the universal or “public” did not include Indigenous peoples as they were
the “subjects” and “objects” of study. These studies were not benign and often led to legislative and policy decisions that have had devastating effects on
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Indigenous communities, identities, and cultures. As the constant demands
for the return of human remains (which were rarely taken with permission or
care) illustrate, this is an uncomfortable and disturbing history that has implications in the contemporary present. Many Indigenous communities have
more than enough evidence and reason to be skeptical and hostile to research
and researcher agendas developed without community discussion, input, and
participation — or without their agreement as political communities within
their territories. If this history is to be meaningfully overcome, we need greater attention to the logics that facilitated this kind of research practice, as well
as the means to reconfigure these to include Indigenous perspectives, participation, and authority as both legitimate and necessary.
In contrast to the past practices of research and study, a collaborative
and decolonizing approach to research typically has at its core meaningful
participation,16 respect (for individuals, community, and difference), equality (including different ways of knowing), empowerment of participants and
inclusiveness, and in some instances with a view to social change concerning
protection and control over cultural heritage (see Bell and Napoleon 2008b:
9; Brant Castellano 2004; L.T. Smith 1999). Critical questions in collaborative approaches include “Whose research (or products of research) is it? How
should this be negotiated and when? How will this be explained and in which
language? Who owns it culturally? Who owns it legally? Whose intentions
does it serve? Who will benefit from it? Who has designed its questions and
framed its scope? Who will carry it out? Who will write it up and disseminate
it? Where will the research go? Will it be archived and if so where? Who will
have control over it? How will it be accessed in the future? What permissions
for use now and in the future need to be developed? Who can speak for this
material? How will any future rights be negotiated?” (Anderson 2007, 2009;
Bell and Napoleon 2008b, L.T. Smith 1999).
Perhaps even prior to these questions, we need to ask “Who has authority within the territory in which the heritage is sourced? and what are the
appropriate ways to have a conversation about such heritage when peoples
meet to discuss, handle, translate, and properly respect that heritage?” What
might happen to our approach to collaboration when the Indigenous or other
descendent community has “exclusive” authority over heritage? Indeed, Michael Asch (2008) asks the reasonable and simple question that is rarely asked:
“What could be more fundamental than knowing that the care of your heritage is in your hands?” In such instances — as is quite defensible in the case
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of First Nations in much of Canada where the premises of settler-state sovereignty remain contested — one could readily imagine collaboration taking
a new form (cf. Asch 2000; Borrows 1996; Coulthard 2007; McNeil 1989).
Such collaborations would demand alliances not simply between Indigenous
persons and researchers and their ways of knowing, but between them as respective members of distinct political communities. Though rarely tried in
relation to heritage, there is ample evidence from First Peoples themselves to
suggest that this is precisely the inter-peoples collaborative relation that they
have continually sought (Noble 2008). Paraphrasing Asch, “Can this be a place
to dialogue and build relationships?” (Asch 2008; also Little Bear 1986).
Although there is today greater awareness of, and guidelines for ethical
practice in archaeology (e.g., Vitelli and Colwell-Chanthaphonh 2006; Zimmerman et al. 2003), it seems that archaeologists most frequently encounter
ethical issues in the context of heritage management-related activities. Nonetheless, as the case studies relating to CRM in Colwell-Chanthaphonh et al.
(2008) suggest, valuable new approaches are being developed. Another volume edited by Stephen Silliman looks at how archaeologists integrate community issues within their research with the explicit intent to “redirect contemporary archaeology in many ways that are more methodologically rich,
theoretically interesting, culturally sensitive, community responsive, ethically
aware, and socially just” (2008: 4–5). This suggests that archaeology can contribute to integrate community goals with academic ones.
Closing Thoughts
The challenges that researchers face here are many. For our purposes what
is especially important is learning what the heritage management needs and
concerns of the community are, relative to both tangible and intangible property, and then learning how to successfully address these. This means that
researchers must utilize research methods that (a) will yield information on
cultural and intellectual property concerns, and (b) are appropriate to the cultural context (Denzin et al. 2008; Bell and Napoleon 2008b: 9–18). A third and
dynamic new responsibility rapidly coming to the fore is to understand and
engage in the most robust ways both stabilized and emergent jurisdictionalpolitical relations (Borrows 2002; United Nations 2007).
As professionals from all sorts of academic and professional spheres interested in IP issues within cultural heritage, we must take advantage of every
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possibility to gain understanding about the various ways of protecting and
dealing with heritage. Often there will be conflict between cultural groups
and the ways each group conceives of and deals with heritage, and some of
these perspectives might diametrically oppose each other. We realize that we
will not be able to provide answers to every situation, nor are we attempting
to do so. Instead, what we are hoping to provide is information that can help
practitioners, Indigenous populations, and professionals alike make informed
decisions about “heritage” and its many manifestations.
Acknowledgements
We thank Emma Feltes for assisting with the compiling of citations, and Julie Hollowell and Gregory Carr for the bibliography on community-based
participatory research and ethics they prepared for IPinCH Workshop on
Community-based Participatory and Research Ethics at the Prindle Institute
for Ethics, DePauw University in 2009. We appreciate Kelley Hays-Gilpin and
Wolf Gumerman’s enthusiasm for this two-part article, and reviewer Wendy
Teeter’s useful comments. This is a contribution of the IPinCH project, which
is funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (Canada).
Notes
1. There is already significant movement towards this through such
initiatives as “Project for the Protection and Repatriation of First
Nation Cultural Heritage in Canada” (see Bell and Napoleon 2008; Bell
and Paterson 2008), and the “Intellectual Property Issues in Cultural
Heritage (IPinCH) Project” (www.sfu.ca/ipinch).
2. www.achp.gov/nhpa.html (accessed March 21, 2010). Similar rationales
are offered in Canada, Europe, Asia, and other countries that have laws
concerning heritage resource management and protection.
3. See, for examples, Bell et al. (2008); Noble (2008); Blood and Chambers
(2006); Yellowhorn (1996); and Zedeño (2007)
4. For example, the province of Alberta recently passed legislation to
facilitate the repatriation of “sacred ceremonial objects” without
conditions to First Nations in Alberta (see First Nations Sacred
Ceremonial Objects Act, R.S.A. 2000, c.F-14). However the Blackfoot
are still actively engaged in international repatriation efforts, as well as
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repatriation of objects within Canada that are of great significance to
them but that fall outside the scope of the provincial legislation.
5. This could be through designation as a provincial or federal park or
historic site or UNESCO World Heritage Site, such as Head Smashed
in Buffalo Jump and Writing on Stone Provincial Park, both located on
Blackfoot traditional territory in southern Alberta.
6. Noble 2002; also see Asch 2001; Battiste and Henderson 2000;
Henderson 2007; Miller 2009; Treaty 7 Elders and Tribal Council 1996.
7. For example, federal and provincial legislation and policy in Canada
and federal and state legislation in the United States (e.g., the
National Historic Preservation Act, Section 106) require consultation
with affected Indigenous peoples (e.g., closest tribe or First Nation,
descendent group) where gravesites, human remains, and other
significant archaeological resources are inadvertently discovered
through excavation or development before development can continue.
8. This includes determining and then honoring whose authority takes
precedence or how we ought to interact with that legal authority in
practicing heritage management.
9. See, for example, Articles 11.1, 13.1 and 31.1. Notably, against the 143
votes for the Declaration, the four negative votes were cast by Canada,
Australia, United States, and New Zealand. Of these four countries,
Australia (in 2009) and now New Zealand (in 2010) have since
endorsed the Declaration.
10.See the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous
Peoples, Articles 10, 11, 19, 28, 29, 30, 32; the Convention on Biological
Diversity, Article 8j; and Tamang’s (2005) presentation to the UN
Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, “An Overview of the Principle
of Free, Prior and Informed Consent and Indigenous Peoples in International and Domestic Law and Practices” for these provisions.
11.Asch 2002, 2005, 2009; Chakrabarty 2000; Coulthard 2007; Foucault
2003; Noble 2008; Pinkoski and Asch 2004.
12.The IGC has been careful to produce an inclusive definition of
traditional knowledge so as not to preclude any potential subject
matter, including “the content or substance of knowledge that is the
result of intellectual activity and insight in a traditional context, and
includes the know-how, skills, innovations, practices and learning that
form part of traditional knowledge systems.” Also see Rikoon (2004).
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13.A good comparative example of how these types of considerations have
been incorporated into national policy in Canada is found in the area
of Aboriginal health research. See, for example, the Canadian Institutes
of Health Research (CIHR) Guidelines for Health Research Involving
Aboriginal People (2007) at http://www.cihr-irsc.gc.ca/e/29134.html
14.The second edition of the Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical
Conduct for Research Involving Humans is anticipated to replace the
first edition in late 2010. A draft version is available at: http://pre.
ethics.gc.ca/eng/policy-politique/tcps-eptc/readtcps-lireeptc/
15.Current debates about a cultural commons that assume that all
knowledge has historically been free and available to all to use illustrate
some of the logics that still govern research rationales. Societies in
which not all knowledge is free or available to all rightfully point to the
cultural particularity of this kind of conception of the “commons.”
16.Including through culturally informed advice, meetings with
researchers prior to the actual research, activities and participation at
all levels of the research program including input on interpretation of
outcomes and equitable distribution of benefits. In Australia, cultural
protocols have been incredibly useful in setting key concerns that
reflect Indigenous cultural views in a variety of contexts including arts,
performance, writing, and other forms of documentation including
photography (see Janke 2006; Janke and Mellor 2006).
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Proposals for the application of intellectual property law to intangible cultural
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intellectual property norms. The latter are increasingly referred to as “vernacular” intellectual property, and might be described as moral economies for the
management of cultural forms and properties. Many stakeholders thus face an
inter-jurisdictional geography of cultural rights, resulting in a sometimes bewildering set of expectations, protocols, regulations, and value systems. What
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Collaborative Research Practices
Within the domain of heritage management, consultation is the most common context for forging the collaborative relationships necessary to reconcile and harmonize the diverse and often divergent values linked to cultural
heritage. A host of questions are at play here, including whose heritage is it?,
and who benefits from it? — unfortunately it is often not the same parties.
Collaborative research practices aid in building a fuller understanding about
the scope and limitations of intellectual property laws, protecting the intellectual aspects of cultural heritage, and promoting fair and culturally appropriate
uses of intellectual property. Collaborative research strives for full and meaningful involvement of members of descendent communities in all aspects of
projects pertaining to their heritage — from project design to defining what
constitutes “significance” to evaluation and dissemination of results. While
they may be difficult to initiate, such projects tend to be far more relevant and
satisfying to all parties than other modes of research.
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