Faculty Author Type

Current Faculty [Gordon Christie]

Published In

Osgoode Hall Law Journal

Document Type


Publication Date



Aboriginal peoples; Indigenous peoples; Culture


There is a common perception that elements of mainstream society are disrespectful of Aboriginal culture. This article argues that developments in the law offer promise for the protection of Aboriginal "intellectual products," manifestations of Aboriginal culture reflecting their world-view. What Aboriginal peoples would like to see protected, however, are not so much words, pictures, or acts but rather the values, beliefs, and principles that give these meaning. Such, the author argues, are best protected by mechanisms internal to Aboriginal communities. Furthermore, the lack of such mechanisms would not justify the intrusion of Canadian law, but rather raises a call within Aboriginal communities to return to traditional means of controlling traditional knowledge and culture. The challenge will be to fashion these tools to meet contemporary demands.



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