The Intellectual Property Issues in Cultural Heritage (IPinCH) project is an international research initiative to explore and facilitate fair and equitable exchanges of knowledge relating to archaeology. The project is directed by Dr. George P. Nicholas (Simon Fraser University), co-developed with Julie Hollowell (Indiana University) and Kelly Bannister (University of Victoria) and is funded by Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada's (SSHRC) major collaborative research initiatives (MCRI) program.
The team consists of 50 scholars and 25 partnering organizations. Topics of research include 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.
- to document the diversity of principles, interpretations, and actions arising in response to intellectual property issues in cultural heritage worldwide
- to analyze the many implications of these situations
- to generate more robust theoretical understandings as well as norms of best practices
- to make findings available to stakeholders, from Aboriginal communities to professional organizations to government agencies, allowing them to develop and refine their own theories, principles, policies and practices.
IPinCH is an international collaboration of archaeologists, indigenous organizations, lawyers, anthropologists, ethicists, policy makers, and others working to explore and facilitate fair and equitable exchanges of knowledge relating to archaeology. It addresses 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.
IPinCH provides a foundation of research, knowledge and resources to assist archaeologists, academic institutions, descendant communities, scholars, policy makers, and other stakeholders in negotiating more equitable and successful terms of research and policies through community-based research and topical exploration of IP issues. It focuses on archaeology as a primary component of cultural heritage; however, this project is ultimately concerned with larger issues of the nature of knowledge and rights based on culture'how these are defined and used, who has control and access, and especially how fair and appropriate use and access can be achieved to the benefit of all stakeholders.
IPinCH is an international collaboration of archaeologists, lawyers, anthropologists, museum specialists, ethicists, policy makers, and Indigenous organizations, representing Canada, Australia, United States, New Zealand, South Africa, Germany, England, and Switzerland. Twenty-five partnering groups include:
- World Intellectual Property Organization (Geneva)
- Parks Canada
- Canadian Archeological Association
- Aboriginal Nations
The 7-year project began in 2008 with a $2.5 million grant from the Major Collaborative Research Initiatives program of Canada's Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. About one-fourth of the project budget is reserved for student fellowships and research support, and one-fourth for community-based participatory research for case studies related to the project themes. The project is led by Dr. Nicholas and guided by a steering committee of six team members representing five universities (Catherine Bell [University of Alberta], Joe Watkins [University of Oklahoma], and John Welch [Simon Fraser University], plus Hollowell and Bannister). Team members represent 9 Canadian and 19 international universities, and 11 Canadian and international organizations. A project advisory board will provide an annual review of project activities in addition to advice on strategies for linking with stakeholders and dissemination of results (Michael Brown [Williams College], Larry Chartrand [Métis; University of Winnipeg], Robert Layton [University of Durham, UK], Peter Levesque [Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario], Robert K. Paterson [UBC, Faculty of Law], K. Anne Pyburn [Indiana University], Dame Marilyn Strathern [University of Cambridge, UK], David Stephenson [Rocky Mountain Thunder Law Firm, Boulder, CO], Richard Wilk [Indiana University]).
The team will identify a range of intangible cultural heritage, intellectual property (IP) and ethical concerns faced by researchers, communities, and others, and use this information to generate ideas for norms of good practice and theoretical insights on the nature of knowledge, IP, and culture-based rights. Areas of particular concern are research on and access to cultural material and cultural heritage sites ' including implications of applying both Indigenous and Western legal frameworks ' cultural tourism, censorship, commercial use of rock art and other images, open vs. restricted access to information, applications in new products, bioarchaeology and the uses of ancient genetic data, legal protections, and research permissions and protocols.
The project will conduct 15 case studies employing a community-based participatory research methodology, compile an online archive and repository of popular articles, legislation, documents, websites, videos, and other items related to IP issues in cultural heritage, and explore the implications of the empirical data for theory and policy in topical working groups and publications. The results will assist archaeologists, academic institutions, descendant communities, scholars, policy makers, and other stakeholders in negotiating more equitable and successful terms of research and heritage policies in the future.
 Research Themes
The primary research question is: What are the theoretical, practical, policy, and ethical implications of the emergence of IP issues in cultural heritage?
The project offers a selection of research themes:
- Commodification & Appropriation of Traditional Knowledge
- Indigenous Law & Western IP Principles
- Cultural Tourism
- Bioarchaeology & uses of Genetic Data
- Legal Protections for IP
- Application of Traditional Knowledge in New Products
- Access to & Dissemination of Data
- Cultural Integrity
- Research Permissions & Protocols
 Project Structure
The project has three components:
- Community-based Initiative & Case Studies
- Working Groups
- Knowledge Base
These studies are jointly developed by academic team members and authorized representatives from a partner organization or community. This research is intended to benefit communities and will also provide information to complement further research opportunities.
As the project seeks to promote the use of Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR), researchers are encouraged to review the research methodologies of CBPR.
Key features of this methodology include:
- collaborative approach engaging the community or organization in all aspects of the research process'from development of research questions and research design to conducting the research, designing outputs, and disseminating results;
- research goals prioritized to meet community needs and to effect direct community benefits;
- projects that contribute to community capacity building and to sustainable and more equitable relations between the community and outside researchers, promote respect for local values, and address mistrust, inequity, and similar issues in conventional research.
Six initiatives have been approved for funding with a further nine initiatives being developed from the Proposal or Letter of Intent stages. The funded initiatives cover a range of topics related to IP in cultural heritage:
- Education, Protection and Management of ezhibiigaadek asin (Sanilac Petroglyph Site)
This study focuses on a rock-art site containing some 100 petroglyphs. Concerns over the preservation and vandalism of these petroglyphs as well as what the Saginaw Chippewa consider to be inappropriate uses of the teachings, particularly in relation to commercialization of the images written on the stone, have been raised. Dr. Sonya Atalay, who is Anishinabe-Ojibwe and an assistant professor at Indiana University, will collaborate with the Saginaw Chippewa's Ziibiwing Cultural Society to explore these issues, with the goal of creating a plan to protect and control the use of the ezhibiigaadek asin site.
- A Case of Access: Inuvialuit Engagement with the Smithsonian's MacFarlane Collection
The MacFarlane Collection is a collection of 550 Inuvialuit items bought by Hudson's Bay Company trader Roderick MacFarlane for the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. Working with the community to reconnect elders and youth with those cultural items are Simon Fraser University researcher Dr. Natasha Lyons and partners, including the Inuvialuit Cultural Resource Centre, Parks Canada, the Smithsonian Institution's Arctic Studies Center, and the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre. The project will allow elders to study and record their knowledge of the items, including clothing, pipes, and tools.
- Developing Policies and Protocols for the Culturally Sensitive Intellectual Properties of the Penobscot Nation of Maine
Dr. Martin Wobst and Julie Woods of the University of Massachusetts will collaborate with Tribal Historic Preservation Officer Bonnie Newsom and the Penobscot Indian Nation to identify issues it faces regarding intellectual property associated with the cultural landscape of the tribe. Results will include strategies for negotiations of agreements and protocols, cultural sensitivity workshops for non-tribal members, and a long-range stewardship and management plan for Penobscot cultural information.
- Moriori Cultural Database
Moriori, the Indigenous people of Rekohu (Chatham Islands, New Zealand) have developed a multi-layer database to integrate research on Moriori identity, cultural heritage protection, land use, and resource management in culturally sensitive ways. The Project, which will also be used to promote economic sustainability and inform land use decisions, is a response to making heritage and IP protection relevant, respectful and ethical for Moriori. Its vital element is the indigenous structure, grounded in elder knowledge, that ensures the research methodology, ownership and uses are controlled and cared for by Moriori.
- Treaty Relations as a Method of Resolving IP Issues
Developed by Michael Asch (Professor of Anthropology, University of Victoria), this case study examines the treaty relationship as a potential framework for the resolution of IP issues between Indigenous groups and others. Based on a careful examination of published primary and secondary materials related to treaty negotiations in central Ontario and the Northwest Territories, the study applies historical, oral-historical, and anthropological methods and attempts to identify aspects of these historic treaties which have resonance for current IP debates around topics such as property, ownership, and jurisdiction. Thinking in terms of treaty relationships might offer an innovative approach to the resolution of IP issues.
- Kainisinni: Protection and Inclusion of Blackfoot Knowledge and Principles in Government Consultations Affecting Our Cultural Heritage
This study explores the intersection of Canadian law, policy, and Blackfoot knowledge associated with archaeological sites and other cultural landscapes in the context of Alberta consultation policies and guidelines. Canadian law requires federal and provincial governments to consult with First Nations when their activities might adversely affect First Nations' rights. The research was developed in collaboration with and by the Mookakin Cultural and Heritage Society of the Blood Tribe and by Dorothy First Rider (Vice President of the Mookakin Foundation, Consultation Coordinator, and Traditional Land Use Coordinator, Kainai Nation), Catherine Bell (Professor of Law, University of Alberta) and Michael Klassen (Archaeology PhD student, Simon Fraser University). It focuses on changes that may be necessary to achieve intercultural dialogue which (1) gives equal and meaningful consideration to Blackfoot ways of knowing and being; and (2) ensures proper use, protection and control of Blackfoot knowledge shared through the mechanism of Traditional Use Studies.
 Working Groups
The purpose of IPinCH topical Working Groups is to develop the scope of case study research, analyze results, convene forums and seminars, produce major publications and contribute to policy development. Each group is lead by two team members, as Working Group Co-Chairs. Membership in these groups is open to all associated students, partnering organization representatives, co-investigators, associates, collaborators, research assistants, steering committee members, and community representatives.
Working Group Titles and Co-chairs:
- Collaboration, Relationship, and Case Studies
Co-chairs: Brian Noble (Dalhousie University) & Larry Zimmerman (IUPUI, Public Scholar of Native American Representation)
Co-chairs: Alison Wylie (University of Washington) & Sonya Atalay (Indiana University)
- Bioarchaeology, Genetics and IP
Co-chairs: Daryl Pullman (Memorial University) & Alan Goodman (Hampshire College)
Co-chairs: Lena Mortensen (University of Toronto - Scarborough)
- Commodifications of the Past?
Co-chairs: Sven Ouzman (University of Pretoria)
- Open Access, Information Systems & Cultural Heritage
Co-chairs: Sue Rowley (University of BC) & Eric Kansa (University of California - Berkeley, School of Information)
- Customary, Conventional and Vernacular Legal Forms
Co-chairs: Rosemary Coombe (York University) & Graham Dutfield (University of Leeds, UK)
- Sourcebook and Community Tool Kits ('SCT') Relating to Culturally Important Intellectual Property
Co-chairs: Susan Bruning (Southern Methodist University) & John Welch (Simon Fraser University)
Full descriptions of each working group is available on the project's website.
 Knowledge Base
The IPinCH Knowledge Base is an online archive and repository containing scholarly and popular articles, global case studies, research protocols and legislation, in addition to research data, reports, and resources generated during the IPinCH project. Communities will review data before it is released to the Knowledge Base or used for any other purpose.
The Knowledge Base focuses on the ten IPinCH themes, and will have various levels of access, including a publicly available section.
A number of Working Groups are compiling documents pertinent to their topics for inclusion in the Knowledge Base. Intended from research purposes only, the Knowledge Base will serve as both a resource and as a repository for diverse aspects of the IPinCH project.
- Hollowell, J., and G. P. Nicholas 2009 Using Ethnographic Methods to Articulate Community-Based Conceptions of Cultural Heritage Management Public Archaeology: Archeological Ethnographies, Vol. 8 No. 2-3, 141-160
- Hollowell, J., and G. P. Nicholas 2008 Intellectual Property Issues in Archaeological Publication: Some Questions to Consider. Archaeologies 4(2): 208-217 
- Hollowell, J., and G. P. Nicholas 2007 Intellectual Property Rights and Archaeology: A Case from the Midden. The Midden. 39(4)10-15
- Nicholas, G.P. 2008 Policies and Protocols for Archaeological Sites and Associated Cultural and Intellectual Property. In: Protection of First Nations Cultural Heritage: Laws, Policy and Reform, Edited by Catherine Bell and Val Napoleon, pp 230'220. UBC Press, Vancouver
 See also
 Further reading
- Anderson, Jane 2009 "Law, Knowledge, Culture: The Production of Indigenous Knowledge in Intellectual Property Law" Edward Elgar, UK
- Brown, Michael 2003 Who Owns Native Culture? Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA.
- Brush, S. B., and D. Stabinsky (editors) 1996 Valuing Local Knowledge: Indigenous People and Intellectual Property Rights. Island Press, Covelo, CA
- Daes, E. I. 1998 Some Observations and Current Developments on the Protection of the Intellectual Property of Indigenous Peoples. WIPO Roundtable on Intellectual Property and Indigenous Peoples, 23'24 July 1998, Geneva, Switzerland. 
- Dutfield, Graham 2006 Intellectual Property, Biological Resources, & Traditional Knowledge. In Intellectual Property & Information Wealth: Issues & Practices in the Digital Age, edited by P. Yu. Greenwood, Portsmouth, N.H.
- Ellen, R., P. Parkes, and A. Bicker 2000 Indigenous Knowledge and its Transformations: Critical Anthropological Perspectives. Harwood Academic, Amsterdam
- Greaves, T. (editor) 1994 Intellectual Property Rights for Indigenous Peoples: A Source Book. Society for Applied Anthropology, Oklahoma City, OK
- Janke, Terri 1998 Our Culture: Our Future. Report on Australian Indigenous Cultural and Intellectual Property Rights. Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission, and Michael Frankel & Company, Surrey Hills, NSW
- Nicholas, George 2005 Four Examples of Research Agreements Concerning Intellectual Property with Applications to Archaeological Research. Discussion paper, "Open Content and 'Community Heritage': Bridging the Divide." Alexandria Archive Institute, San Francisco
- Nicholas, George, and J. Hollowell 2006 Intellectual Property Issues in Archaeology? In Archaeological Ethics, 2nd ed., edited b K. D. Vitelli and C. Colwell-Chanthaphonh, pp., 206-211. AltaMira Press, Lanham, MD
- Nicholas, George, and K.P. Bannister 2004a Intellectual Property Rights and Indigenous Cultural Heritage in Archaeology. In Indigenous Intellectual Property Rights in Archaeology, edited by M. Riley. AltaMira Press, Walnut Grove, CA
- --- 2004b Copyrighting the Past?: Emerging Intellectual Property Rights Issues in Archaeology. Current Anthropology 45(3): 327'350.
- Posey, Daryl A., and Graham Dutfield 1996 Beyond Intellectual Property: Toward Traditional Resource Rights for Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities. International Development Research Centre, Ottawa
- Solomon. M. 2004 Intellectual Property Rights and Indigenous Peoples' Rights and Responsibilities. In Indigenous Intellectual Property Rights: Legal Obstacles and Innovative Solutions, edited by M. Riley, pp. 221'250. AltaMira Press, Walnut Creek
- Strathern, M. 2006 Intellectual Property and Rights: An Anthropological Perspective. In Handbook of Material Culture, edited by C. Tilley, W. Keane, S. Kücheler, M. Rowlands, and P. Spyer, pp. 447'462. Sage, London
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- ^ 
- ^ http://www.wipo.int/portal/index.html.en World Intellectual Property Organization
- ^ http://www.pc.gc.ca/ Parks Canada
- ^ http://www.canadianarchaeology.com/ Canadian Archaeological Association
- ^ which range from the Stolo (Greater Vancouver area)Sto:lo, to the Barunga Community of northern Australia
- ^ http://www.sshrc.ca/ Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council
- ^ http://www.sfu.ca/ipinch/opportunities/Students student fellowships
- ^ http://www.sfu.ca/ipinch/project_components case studies
- ^ http://www.sfu.ca/ipinch/project_components/knowledge_base knowledge base
- ^ http://www.sfu.ca/ipinch/project_components/working_groups working groups
- ^ http://www.sfu.ca/ipinch/outputs_resources/project_papers publications
- ^ http://www.sfu.ca/ipinch/sites/default/files/page//project_description/MCRI2007FinalProposal.pdf IPinCH MCRI 2007 Final Proposal
- ^ IPinCH Brochure June 2008
- ^ Minkler, M., and N. Wallerstein (editors) 2003 Community-Based Participatory Research for Health. Jossey-Bass, San Francisco
- ^ Springett, J. 2003 Issues in Participatory Evaluation. In Community-Based Participatory Research for Health, edited by M. Minkler and N. Wallerstein, pp. 263'288. Jossey-Bass, San Francisco
- ^ St. Denis, V. 1992 Community-Based Participatory Research: Aspects of the Concept Relevant for Practice. Native Studies Review 8 (2): pp. 51'74
- ^ Hollowell, Julie and George Nicholas. Using Ethnographic Methods to Articulate Community-Based Conceptions of Cultural Heritage Management. Public Archaeology: archaeological ethnographies, Vol. 8 No. 2'3, 2009, pp. 141'160
- ^ Morrison, David. Painted Wooden Plaques from the MacFarlane Collection: The Earliest Inuvialuit Graphic Art. ARCTIC VOL. 59, NO. 4 (DECEMBER 2006) P. 351' 360
- ^ http://www.sfu.ca/ipinch/project_components/working_groups project's website
 External links