This paper interrogates the emphasis on devising regimes for protection of Indigenous knowledge, based on narrowly defined concepts of property, especially intellectual property in legislative and policy discussions and debates and programs of work on Indigenous knowledge. Commenting on the classificatory and typological tendencies of legislative protection regimes, the paper argues for a shift from this emphasis on protection, toward the creation of a space for engagement between Indigenous, and other knowledge traditions, wherein concepts of dialogue, negotiation and agreement-making can occur. The paper supports its argument by reviewing selected legal instruments such as the 2003 UNESCO Convention on the Safeguarding of the Intangible Heritage, and drawing on some of the authors experience working with Aboriginal people in the Kimberley.
Davis, MB 2006, 'Bridging the Gap or Crossing a Bridge? Indigenous Knowledge and the Language of Law and Policy' in Berkes, F, Wilbanks, T & Capistrano, D (eds), Bridging Scales and Knowledge Systems: Concepts and Applications in Ecosystem Assessment, Island Press, Washington DC, USA, pp. 145-163.View/Download from: UTS OPUS