Cafe Scientifique: Protection of Traditional Knowledge


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Valorie Whetung
Director of the First Nations Centre

Knowing Your Roots: Indigenous Medicines, Health Knowledge
and Best Practices
Café Scientifique
October 2010

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Cafe Scientifique: Protection of Traditional Knowledge

  1. 1. Protection of Traditional Knowledge Knowing Your Roots: Indigenous Medicines, Health Knowledge and Best Practices Café Scientifique October 2010
  2. 2. Our Vision <ul><li>Our strength is our knowledge, and the foundation of healthy people, healthy communities and healthy nations. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Our Mission <ul><li>The mission of the FNC is to advance First Nations health knowledge.  The FNC respects First Nations aspirations for self-determination, distinctiveness and diversity.  Working with First Nations, the FNC creates, promotes and shares health information and research.  The FNC develops tools and processes that assist in building capacity and transferring knowledge. </li></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>Traditional Knowledge (TK) represents the collective wisdom & knowledge unique to human social cultures & communities that encompasses the ancient and holistic body of information and understanding of living in relations to the local environments. </li></ul>Traditional Knowledge Defined
  5. 5. Importance of Traditional Knowledge <ul><li>Traditional Knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>of plants, animals, insects, microbial life & agricultural systems ensured the survival and prosperity of First Nations Peoples. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Importance of Traditional Knowledge <ul><li>Influences individual and community health; </li></ul><ul><li>Reinforces sense of identity and group cohesiveness; </li></ul><ul><li>Contributes to present day practices; </li></ul><ul><li>Fosters First Nation acceptance and participation, and </li></ul><ul><li>Represents generations of knowledge and experience </li></ul>
  7. 7. Practical Uses of Traditional Knowledge <ul><li>Integrating TK with Canada’s public health system may be the most effective care for First Nations people. </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Greater focus on preventive strategies and reduced dependence on pharmaceutical solutions; </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Culturally sensitive delivery of health services and inclusion of spirituality; </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Midwifery, and </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Drug and alcohol treatment. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Other areas of well-being can also benefit from the inclusion of TK including: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Language Revitalization, Governance, Criminal Justice </li></ul></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Preservation of Traditional Knowledge <ul><li>Cultural Awareness </li></ul><ul><li>Recording and incorporating </li></ul><ul><li>Legal issues </li></ul><ul><li>Protection </li></ul>
  9. 9. OCAP <ul><li>Ownership </li></ul><ul><li>Control </li></ul><ul><li>Access </li></ul><ul><li>Possession </li></ul>
  10. 10. Ownership <ul><li>Refers to the relationship of a First Nations community to its cultural knowledge in terms of collective. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Control <ul><li>First Nations peoples have the right to control of all aspects of their lives and institutions. </li></ul>
  12. 12. Access <ul><li>First Nations must have access to information about themselves and their communities without facing any barriers. They must also be able to manage and make decisions concerning who has access to their information and how this access is given. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Possession <ul><li>Possession is the physical control over the information. </li></ul>
  14. 14. Sharing Traditional Knowledge <ul><li>Passing knowledge from generation to generation (old to young). </li></ul><ul><li>RCAP identified a “pressing need” for “people who can apply Aboriginal knowledge to current health problems. </li></ul>
  15. 15. Sacred Way of Life <ul><li>NAHO tool kit </li></ul><ul><li>Guidelines for protecting and maintaining Traditional Knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>Legal implications </li></ul><ul><li>Comparison of First Nations and western ways of knowing </li></ul>
  16. 16. Sharing Traditional Knowledge <ul><li>Record </li></ul><ul><li>Document </li></ul><ul><li>Communicate! </li></ul>
  17. 17. “ We need to heal our people, open our bundles, and ensure these healing ways continue for countless generations.” John Martin
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