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Native American and Indigenous Studies

Research guide for resources focused on Native American and Indigenous Studies.

Citing Tradtional Knowledge

If your research includes traditional or biocultural knowledge, you should consider how to indicate this to give full acknowledgement, and to help your readers know how to respectfully use what you share.

The Citation Guides section has some resources to help with citing your sources, especially when you are working directly with Indigenous people. This section offers a few more ways to indicate permissions and protocols around traditional knowledge, as developed by Local Contexts. Many of these labels will be specific to particular groups of people and how they approach their knowledge, so be sure to consult with the people whose information you are sharing, about what types of labels best represent their information, or if they would prefer to develop a new label that represents their knowledge better.

Traditional Knowledge Labels

The Provenance Labels include:

  • TK Attribution  (TK A)
  • TK Clan  (TK CL)
  • TK Family  (TK F)
  • TK Multiple Communities  (TK MC)
  • TK Community Voice  (TK CV)
  • TK Creative  (TK CR)

The Protocol Labels include:

  • TK Verified  (TK V)
  • TK Non-Verified  (TK NV)
  • TK Seasonal  (TK S)
  • TK Women General  (TK WG)
  • TK Men General  (TK MG)
  • TK Men Restricted  (TK MR)
  • TK Women Restricted  (TK WR)
  • TK Culturally Sensitive  (TK CS)
  • TK Secret / Sacred  (TK SS)

The Permission Labels include:

  • TK Open to Commercialization  (TK OC)
  • TK Non-Commercial  (TK NC)
  • TK Community Use Only  (TK CO)
  • TK Outreach  (TK O)
  • TK Open to Collaboration  (TK CB)

Local Contexts is an organization founded in 2010 by Jane Anderson and Kim Christen. The site states "The primary objectives of Local Contexts are to enhance and legitimize locally based decision-making and Indigenous governance frameworks for determining ownership, access, and culturally appropriate conditions for sharing historical, contemporary and future collections of cultural heritage and Indigenous data. Local Contexts is focused on increasing Indigenous involvement in data governance through the integration of Indigenous values into data systems. Local Contexts offers digital strategies for Indigenous communities, cultural institutions and researchers through the TK (Traditional Knowledge) & BC (Biocultural) Labels and Notices. Together they function as a practical mechanism to advance aspirations for Indigenous data sovereignty and Indigenous innovation."

Biocultural Labels

The Provenance Labels include:

  • BC Provenance  (BC P)
  • BC Multiple Communities  (BC MC)
  • BC Clan  (BC CL)

The Protocol Labels include:

  • BC Consent Verified  (BC CV)
  • BC Consent Non-Verified  (BC CNV)

The Permission Labels include:

  • BC Research Use  (BC R)
  • BC Open to Collaboration  (BC CB)
  • BC Open to Commercialization  (BC OC)
  • BC Outreach  (BC O)
  • BC Non-Commercial  (BC NC)

Traditional Knowledge Licenses

Similar to Creative Commons Licenses, Traditional Knowledge Licenses allow authors to indicate rights and reuse information when negotiating and managing cultural heritage material where Indigenous individuals or communities do not hold the copyright. These are actively in development by Local Contexts. There are four license types currently:

  • TK Attribution (TK A)
  • TK Outreach (TK O)
  • TK Commercial (TK C)
  • TK Non-Commercial (TK NC)