Does Your Tribe Have Policies to Address These Kinds of Situations?
Cultural and Historical Research
- Does your tribe have a process to authorize, monitor, and control researchers who want to study your cultural lifeways, language, plants, foods, history, songs, designs, or interview elders?
- Does the tribe maintain ownership and control of the data derived from such research?
- Should data derived from your traditional knowledge be copyrighted by the researcher?
Medical or Health-Related Research
- Has your tribe been approached by researchers who want to
study the medical records of your tribal members?
- Is the tribe always notified before they are allowed to access
and study that information?
- Is the individual’s right to give their individual prior informed
consent respected before any access to their health records
- If a researcher wants biological samples (blood, hair, tissue,
genetic material, or cell lines) from your community members
does your tribe have a process to control how those samples
are used, for how long they may be used, and for what purposes?
- Can anyone else use those samples for any other research without
the consent of the tribe or the individual?
- Do you have process to review and approve findings before
they are released to the public or the media?
- Have you pre-determined who owns the data derived from such
- If biological samples are returned to your tribe after research
ends, or for any other reason, does your tribe have a process
for their return?
Traditional Knowledge, Cultural Property Protection, and Intellectual Property Rights
- Are there medicinal plants, unique seeds, or other plants in your environment that might be of interest to bioprospectors, ethnobotonists, or pharmaceutical companies?
- Did you know that patents are being granted to companies for medicinal plants, seeds, and human genetic materials taken from indigenous peoples and lands?
- Do you believe that any life form (plant, animal, human, microorganism) or cells taken from them should be patented?
- Would commercializing life forms be consistent, or inconsistent, with your cultural values?
- Do you understand the concepts of “benefit sharing”?
- Do you agree with the statement that your traditional knowledge is part of the common heritage of mankind?
Return to Top