Intellectual Property Rights

Some of the content in this section is derived from the Traditional Knowledge Licensing and Labeling Website 1.0 developed by IPinCH Associates (Intellectual Property Issues in Cultural Heritage). 

NCCIE recognizes the distinct “cultural protocols that govern access to material within Indigenous contexts” across Canada and around the world.  It is recognized that “. . . a significant amount of Indigenous cultural material is already in the public domain and also inevitably circulating in the digital domain . . . Indigenous communities are wanting to share certain material while also making users aware of the appropriate codes of conduct for access, use and future circulation of that material.”

Community partners collaborating with NCCIE are genuine in their interest in sharing certain knowledge (recognizing that not everything can be shared). In return, it is incumbent upon all of us to respect the knowledge that is being shared and the Land of the People where the knowledge originates. To this end, each NCCIE Regional Team worked closely with their community partners to articulate an ‘Acknowledgement Protocol.’ This Protocol is a brief statement that educators and anyone accessing the lesson plans, videos or other educational resources are respectfully asked to read to the class or group before beginning the lesson or video. You will find each lesson plan’s and video’s distinct ‘Acknowledgement Protocol’ on their respective webpages.

With each ‘Acknowledgement’ that is read, the class, school, or group agrees to respect the knowledge being shared and the Land of the People where the knowledge originates. In addition, the class, school, or group acknowledges that the People named in the Acknowledgement Protocol (as well as in the ‘Origin’ section) have ownership of the knowledge; this means that the People have control over and responsibility for taking care of the knowledge.

The ‘Acknowledgement Protocol’ is itself an interesting piece of knowledge that can generate an interesting discussion among groups of learners.

For more information on Intellectual Property Rights of Indigenous Peoples’ knowledges:

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