Archive for June, 2011

Dr. Debrah Harry (IPCB) will be teaching a class this summer (July 11-September 12) at UCLA on the protection of cultural property:

 “Indigenous cultural property of all forms, tangible and intangible, oral and written, ancient and contemporary, is under constant threat from exploitation, theft, misrepresentation, misuse, and commodification. Genetic material and Indigenous knowledge are significant aspects of cultural property that require special protection, especially in this biotechnology age. This course addresses ways in which tribes can and should protect their cultural property, whether it be songs, artifacts, sacred sites, remains of the ancestors, traditional medicines, Indigenous knowledge about such medicines, or human and non-human genetic material. The main objective of this course is to provide guidance to tribes faced with the unique problems posed by biotechnology.” For more information please consult the UCLA Extension webpage.

WICAZO SA REVIEW Vol 18 No 1 features Kim TallBear’s piece on Native American DNA and cultural identity. “I saw American broadcaster Larry King interview African-American comedian Chris Rock in February 2001 on CNN International. King asked Rock how he felt about recent developments related to mapping the human genome. When Chris Rock appeared puzzled and respond- ed more or less that he didn’t feel qualified to address the topic, King elaborated that such scientific inquiry might be used to make black people white and didn’t Mr. Rock have an opinion about this? Recog- nizing King’s unfamiliarity with the psychology of race, Chris Rock seemed to see that this was one battle in which he didn’t want to en- gage on international television. He responded graciously and with a smile, ‘It isn’t like that.'[…]”

Download below to read the full article:
(2003). “DNA blood & racializing the tribe”. Wicazo Sá Review 18(1): 81-107.

These Guidelines have been prepared by the Ethics Office of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), in conjunction with its Institute of Aboriginal Peoples’ Health, to assist researchers and institutions in carrying out ethical and culturally competent research involving Aboriginal people. The intent is to promote health through research that is in keeping with Aboriginal values and traditions. The Guidelines will assist in developing research partnerships that will facilitate and encourage mutually beneficial and culturally competent research. The Guidelines will also promote ethics review that enables and facilitates rather than suppresses or obstructs research. These Guidelines are applicable to researchers carrying out research to which CIHR has made a financial contribution. The reader should note that these Guidelines are not regulations nor are they meant to be of general application. Rather, they are guidelines that should be followed by anyone who carries out research involving Aboriginal people in Canada if the research is funded by CIHR. The obligation on the researcher to abide by the Guidelines is contractual, i.e. it is voluntarily assumed by the researcher in return for the funding provided by CIHR. As these guidelines primarily address the special considerations that arise when carrying out research involving Aboriginal people, researchers must also refer to, and comply with, other Tri-Council andCIHR policies, as well as any applicable legislation and, for those to whom it applies, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Other agencies of government may impose additional regulatory or other requirements.

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