The Kimberley Land Council intellectual property and traditional knowledge policy is designed to set standards for how research is conducted.
If external parties or prospective researchers are keen to work with Kimberley Aboriginal people, to conduct research, or to film on country, they must formally request to do so through The Research Ethics and Access Committee (REAC).
Aboriginal people have the right to claim Intellectual Property (IP) in their Heritage, Traditional Knowledge (TK) and Traditional Cultural Expressions. This is an important right set out in Article 31.1 of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The Kimberley Land Council (KLC) has adopted this Intellectual Property and Traditional Knowledge Policy (the “IP and TK Policy”) in recognition of this right.
- Researchers must recognise that Kimberley Aboriginal people have the right to self-determination concerning the way research is conducted and the research outcomes, and will appropriately acknowledge and respect such rights by seeking Free, Prior and Informed Consent of Traditional Owners. Kimberley Aboriginal people have the right to say ‘no’ to Research about them and their land and waters.
- Consultation and negotiation should aim to achieve mutual understanding, which is on-going.
- Kimberley Aboriginal people have the right to keep confidential any information concerning their cultural practices, traditions and beliefs and to exclude this information from publication.
- Kimberley Aboriginal people have the right to be the primary interpreters of their culture.
- Kimberley Aboriginal people have the right to Cultural Integrity over their Aboriginal Cultural and Intellectual Property.
- Where authorised use occurs, Aboriginal people have the right to licence and negotiate terms for the use of their Traditional Knowledge, Traditional Cultural Expression and their Biological Resources.
Aboriginal people have the right to claim Intellectual Property in their Heritage, Traditional Knowledge and Traditional Cultural Expressions. Over a number of years, Kimberley Aboriginal People have become concerned about the use of their Aboriginal Cultural and Intellectual Property in research. This use has been without proper acknowledgement of the contributions of Traditional Owners, and without their prior informed consent.
In many cases, Aboriginal Cultural and Intellectual Property has been used inappropriately and in demeaning ways. In response to these concerns, and the developing international recognition of traditional knowledge rights, the KLC has developed this IP and TK Policy. This IP and TK Policy is intended to cover Aboriginal Cultural and Intellectual Property, Confidential Information, Traditional Knowledge and Traditional Cultural Expression. It should be read in conjunction with the KLC’s Research Protocol which outlines the process for submitting research proposals.