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Intellectual Property

Mithaka Peoples’ cultural and intellectual property refers to the rights held for Traditional Knowledge possesses through products and expressions of bio-cultural heritage that have been transferred through generations of Mithaka and the bio-cultural landscapes and skyscapes they are inherently connected to. As recognised in Article 31 of the United Nations Declaration On The Rights Of Indigenous Peoples,

“Indigenous peoples have the right to maintain, control, protect and develop their cultural heritage, traditional knowledge and traditional cultural expressions, as well as the manifestations of their sciences, technologies and Cultures, including human and genetic resources, seeds, medicines, knowledge of the properties of fauna and flora, oral traditions, literatures, designs, sports and traditional games and visual and performing arts. They also have the right to maintain, control, protect and develop their intellectual property over such cultural heritage, traditional knowledge, and traditional cultural expressions.”

Researchers must respect and support the ownership of Mithaka intellectual property throughout their research work, which will most likely involve the use of Traditional Knowledge at some level and needs to be acknowledging Mithaka rights and cultural protocols. This includes providing the resources and capacity in research to support the recording and use of Traditional Knowledge for Mithaka People and their own benefit, management, and cultural and educational purposes. It also involves Mithaka researchers and their partners to come to an agreement about how and what intellectual property is used and shared, and how this is continuously respected and communicated, throughout research work and resulting publications.

All research proposals will be negotiated to ensure free, prior and informed consent for the use of intellectual property, which researchers must work acknowledging that any Traditional Knowledge and information accessed is strictly confidential. As intellectual property of Mithaka Traditional Owners, Research Agreements will also outline how information produced through research is published, reported on and attributed.

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