Danielle Conway on Promoting Indigenous Innovation Through the Licensing of Article 31 Indigenous Assets and Resources

Danielle M. Conway has posted her paper, “Promoting Indigenous Innovation, Enterprise, and Entrepreneurship Through the Licensing of Article 31 Indigenous Assets and Resources.” She published the paper in the SMU Law Review.

Here is the abstract:

The notion that indigenous entrepreneurship is inherently paradoxical to participation in the western marketplace must be challenged, even though there is a fine balance indigenous entrepreneurs maintain with their own world and the western world. This balance considers that indigenous entrepreneurs exist within transgenerational communities with complex cross-cultural linkages with the west. Far from fully segregating from western society and the states in which they reside, indigenous entrepreneurs seek to promote indigeneity through indigenous and non-indigenous commerce. As Hindle and Lansdowne explain, “[t]here need be no paradox, no contradiction, no values sacrifice, no false dichotomy between heritage and innovation.” Reference to the goals and objectives of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples bear this out. For example, article 19 of the Declaration relates to Indigenous peoples’ participation with respect to issues that affect them, their lands, their resources, and their rights. The Declaration also calls for good-faith efforts by states to consult and cooperate with Indigenous peoples about economic and social development that directly or indirectly impacts their rights. Relevant to this paper, article 31 of the Declaration deals with Indigenous peoples’ right to exercise authority and control over their cultural heritage, traditional knowledge, and traditional cultural expressions in addition to any intellectual property rights in these assets and resources. Accordingly, this Article promotes the use of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as a basis for asserting indigenous control over article 31 assets and resources to spur indigenous enterprise and innovation. After asserting control, Indigenous peoples can then operationalize the use of their article 31 assets and resources to counteract the “history of dispossession, assimilation, child removal and other previous colonial policies [that have] created a legacy” of economic disadvantage, political and structural disadvantage, geographic and cultural disadvantage, and collective and individual disadvantage. This article focuses on licensing as a mechanism to both implement the goals and objectives of the Declaration and to reassert indigenous authority and control over indigenous assets and resources.

Larry Cata Backer on Che and the UN Declaration

Larry Catá Backer has posted “From Hatuey to Che: Indigenous Cuba Without Indians and the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.” It is published in the most recent edition of the American Indian Law Review, Vol. 33, 2009. The abstract:

Indigenous peoples have been quite useful to political elites in Latin America almost since the time of the conquests by Spanish and Portuguese adventurers in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, indigenous people supplied the foundations for a trope, both literary and political, essential for the construction of cultural, ethnic, racial, and political identities distinct from the traditional colonial masters of emerging Latin American states, as well as from that great power to the north. This paper looks at one aspect of this rich development by focusing on the noble savage, the construction of Caribbean (and principally Cuban) political identity, and the formation of governance ideals. The focus will be on three people, separated by hundreds of years but all connected by the parallels of their lives and their place within Caribbean literary and political thought. I will start with the great archetypical figure of Cuban history – a Taino Indian from the island of Hispaniola – el indio Hatuey. The heart of the paper examines essays of Jose Marti in the broader context of Latin indigenismo. Marti, like the Spanish before him, confronts the Indian in Cuban life. But unlike the Spanish, Marti deploys the Indian in the service of the construction of Cuban national indigenismo. The last great figure considered in the development of Cuban indigenismo is Fidel Castro Ruz. Castro served as the leader of Cuba from the successful conclusion of the Cuban Revolution of 1959 until early 2008 when illness forced his retirement. The indigenismo of Marti finds rich embellishment in the great speeches of Fidel Castro. With Fidel Castro we witness the maturation of the process of denaturing the Indian from indigenismo. The essay ends with a consideration of the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples from the perspective of this constructed Cuban indigenismo without Indians. In a Cuba without Indians, but where the memory of the Indian is revered, Cuba can seek to assert the rights of indigenous peoples everywhere without having to confront the issue of its own Indians. In a construction of a social and ethnic order in which the Indian has disappeared, to assert the right of indigenous people in Cuba is to assert the rights of the Cuban nation as a singular but blended mass.