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Abstract

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The issue of indigenous interests in intellectual property law is difficult precisely because of the historical, political, cultural dimensions that inform the subject notion of ‘property’ and the historical delineation, exclusion and current inclusion of populations now referred to as ‘indigenous’, ‘traditional’ or ‘local’. The current conditions of colonialism also mean that there are legitimate questions about the extent that the legal ordering of indigenous knowledge issues through an intellectual property paradigm works to privilege certain modes of inquiry and investigation over others. This paper offers initial musings upon the idea of resolution. It necessarily begins with a theoretical exploration of the problems that exist within this field as well as practical suggestions for modifying and appropriating aspects of the intellectual property apparatus in ways that are meaningful and respond to Indigenous interests in knowledge control and circulation. Its structure mirrors the fracturing of the discourse itself.

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