Traditional Knowledge Governance Challenges in Canada
in M. Rimmer, ed, Research Handbook on Indigenous Intellectual Property (Edward Elgar, 2015).
30 Pages Posted: 17 Sep 2015 Last revised: 26 Jul 2017
Date Written: 2015
This book chapter canvasses the fragmented nature of jurisdiction over traditional knowledge in Canada. It relates traditional knowledge governance issues to the operations of Canadian federalism and relationships among Aboriginal Peoples and Canada’s federal, provincial and territorial governments. The authors discuss the conceptual nature of traditional knowledge, identify practical challenges associated with its protection, investigate legal jurisdictional issues with implementing legislation or other measures protecting traditional knowledge, and inventory policy initiatives to address traditional knowledge. They propose that federal, provincial and territorial governments can only meaningful engage with Aboriginal Peoples about traditional knowledge if these governments themselves engage in a process of collaborative or cooperative federalism. Doing so is one step toward the fulfilling these governments’ duty to not just consult but negotiate with Aboriginal Peoples toward treaties that govern rights to traditional knowledge that are consistent with Canada’s international obligations under Article 31 of the United Nations Declaration of Rights on Indigenous Peoples and other instruments.
Keywords: traditional knowledge, Canada, jurisdiction, governance issues, Canada, federalism, Aboriginal people, government, federal, provincial, territorial, collaborative federalism, cooperative federalism, negotiate, treaties, international obligations, Article 31, United Nations Declaration of Rights
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