A team based in the Simon Fraser University department of archaeology has launched a seven-year international initiative called the Intellectual Property Issues in Cultural Heritage Project (IPinCH). This project promotes the collaboration of 50 scholars and 25 partnering organizations, including archaeologists, indigenous organizations, lawyers, anthropologists, ethicists, policymakers, and others “working to explore and facilitate fair and equitable exchanges of knowledge relating to archaeology.” The IPinCH website notes:
We are concerned with the theoretical, ethical, and practical implications of commodification, appropriation, and other flows of knowledge about the past, and how these may affect communities, researchers, and other stakeholders.
Project objectives are:
- to document the diversity of principles, interpretations, and actions arising in response to IP issues in cultural heritage worldwide;
- to analyze the many implications of these situations;
- to generate more robust theoretical understandings as well as exemplars of good practice; and
- to make these findings available to stakeholders—from Aboriginal communities to professional organizations to government agencies—to develop and refine their own theories, principles, policies and practices.
For more information contact Project Director Dr. George Nicholas (nicholas @ sfu.ca).