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Language revitalization in Native North America--issues of intellectual property rights and intellectual sovereignty

Language revitalization in Native North America--issues of intellectual property rights and intellectual sovereignty

Collegium Antropologicum 28(Suppl. 1): 257-262

Language revitalization, oral tradition and epistemology are expressions of Native peoples intellectual sovereignty, and thus the foundation for indigenous intellectual property rights. As the people of California move towards language and cultural revitalization the question arises: What constitutes or constructs the definitions of intellectual property and how can appropriation of indigenous knowledge be protected? Looking at the issues faced by the California's indigenous populace and by implication, other indigenous peoples in the United States, this essay examines how protection may be afforded under the United Nations definition of 'heritage'. Given that the holding safe of a 'culture' or 'heritage' is inclusive of language, and thus has been determined to be a human right.

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