A Defense of Native American’s Rights Over Their Traditional Cultural Expressions
American Archivist [Forthcoming]
34 Pages Posted: 11 Jun 2012 Last revised: 25 Jun 2012
Date Written: February 1, 2012
The Protocols for Native American Archival Materials (PNAAM) recommend a set of best practices for dealing with Native American Traditional Cultural Expressions (TCE) and Traditional Knowledge (TK) held in libraries and archives. The Society of American Archivists and the American Library Association have declined to endorse the recommendations of PNAAM, because some of its recommendations appear to be inconsistent with current ethical guidelines. This paper analyzes the key question in this controversy: “Do Native Americans have a moral right to control access to their TCE and TK?” It is argued that group privacy and the concept of restorative justice provide an ethical justification of this right.
Keywords: traditional cultural expression, traditional knowledge, cultural property, native american, group rights, privacy, indigenous knowledge, cultural appropriation, information ethics, archival ethics
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