Translating Indigenous rights into the action and language of research

Translating Indigenous rights into the action and language of research Conference Paper

LESANZ Seminar

  • Author(s): Holcombe, S
  • Published: 2009
  • Publisher: Licensing Executives Society Australia and New Zealand (LESANZ)

Abstract: The Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples was endorsed by the Australian government earlier this year, although it had been adopted by the UN almost two years prior. Translating this rights discourse into enabling resources in the area of research is a growing area of attention. There is also a growing recognition that Indigenous knowledge of the environment has something to teach western science. However, creating the space where this knowledge sharing can occur is challenging, not least because there are fundamental differences in these knowledge systems. The seminar will provide an overview of the content of a range of resources, such as the DKCRC ‘Aboriginal Knowledge and Intellectual Property Protocol’ and the ‘Guidelines for Indigenous Ecological Knowledge Management’ in the NT, in which I have been engaged in co-developing. I will then discuss the process of the development of these resources through workshops and focus groups – which were just as important as the final products. The culturally inclusive forums were collaborative, incorporating several kinds of discourse in order to facilitate shared understandings among participants of the specialised language of intellectual property and the international language of rights. Recognition of the history of exploitation and the misappropriation of Indigenous knowledge in research was an important first step in the process, as was the recognition that Indigenous peoples own their knowledge and the right to manage it and gain from its use.

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Suggested Citation
Holcombe, S, 2009, Translating Indigenous rights into the action and language of research, Conference Paper, viewed 13 July 2024,

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