Our Intellectual Property…Whose Property??

I remember when I attended an artist retreat in 2006 at the Banff Centre in Alberta. It was for First Nations artists who were moving from arts practitioners to facilitators in non-native settings. A Salish woman’s concern was having her traditional teachings appropriated by white teachers and administrators. At the time I was really just learning how to deliver workshops so this question of intellectual property and indigenous knowledge was very new to me. Today I am working in diverse communities and have worked with cultural educators and elders to work with teachings in a respectful and authentic way in the classroom; I do think there are certain teachings and cultural practices that should be reserved for people within a given community who have been entrusted with that knowledge to be the keepers and protectors of that knowledge. If the Illuminati can protect their intellectual property…why shouldn’t we.

Claiming Intellectual Property

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