ERIC Number: ED160257
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1975-Jan
Reference Count: N/A
American Native Oral Tradition: Legal Safeguards and Public Domain--A Discussion.
Bland, Laurel LeMieux
Demonstrating the fact that the United States recognizes tribal groups (American Indians, Eskimos, and/or Aleuts) as sovereign bodies and conducts business and civil affairs with them accordingly, this paper examines an area in U.S. Law that is either unclear or entirely lacking--the treatment of tribal right to ownership or control of the accumulated literary and intellectual heritage of a tribe and its right to protect its members from exploitation regarding their personal knowledge of tribal cultural heritage. In light of existing law and custom, several approaches to solving the problem or clarifying the situation are described. The paper concludes that: morally and ethically, elements of cultural heritage which lend themselves to ethnographic research methods and electronic or photographic recording are, by virtue of a priori right and possession, the intellectually created property of the tribes and their members; there is ample evidence that the capability and structure are present for tribes to control and administer ethnographic research with the power to receive the results as communal property of the tribal authority; and in accordance with its constitution, the federal government has a duty and obligation to initiate action in keeping with the policy statements of its leaders to render unto the Indian people that which is theirs by inheritance and possession and to clearly differentiate between that which is theirs and that which is held in common bond by the populace. (Author/JC)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Human Environmental Resources Services, Inc., Kennewick, WA.