Center for World Indigenous Studies
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Working Outside the System

Published: August 18, 2008, Author: JayTaber

Intellectual property in the state-centric, market-oriented society is a commodity used to exploit the resources of others. Intellectual property in a tribal society is a collective repository used to protect communal resources from exploitation by others.

Theft of tribal intellectual property by others for state and market purposes diminishes the protective values of this property for the rightful owners, making collective societies more vulnerable to heightened exploitation.

When intellectual property laws are constructed by state-centric, market-oriented institutions like the World Intellectual Property Rights Organization, the interests and indeed survival of tribal societies is dependent upon protocols and laws constructed outside the dominant system. In other words, working within the system when the system doesn’t work is not an option for those who value collective ownership.

Chief George Manuel Memorial Indigenous Library

The library is dedicated to the memory of Secwepemc Chief George Manuel (1921-1989), to the nations of the Fourth World and to the elders and generations to come.

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