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Distributed for University of British Columbia Press

Protecting Indigenous Knowledge and Heritage

A Global Challenge

Whether in Canada, the United States, Australia, India, Peru, or Russia, the approximately 500 million Indigenous Peoples in the world have faced a similar fate at the hands of colonizing powers. Assaults on language and culture, commercialization of art, and use of plant knowledge in the development of medicine have taken place all without consent, acknowledgement, or benefit to these Indigenous groups worldwide. Battiste and Henderson passionately detail the devastation these assaults have wrought on Indigenous peoples, why current legal regimes are inadequate to protect Indigenous knowledge, and put forward ideas for reform. Looking at the issues from an international perspective, this book explores developments in various countries including Canada, the United States, Australia, New Zealand, and also the work of the United Nations and relevant international agreements.

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 Subjec

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