PROF. MICHAEL F. BROWN, President of the School for Advanced Research, Santa Fe, is the author of six books, including Who Owns Native Culture? (Harvard University Press, 2003) and Upriver: The Turbulent Life and Times of an Amazonian People (Harvard University Press, 2014).
Professor Brown is speaking at Notre Dame Law School in Eck Hall of Law in room 2130 on Thursday, November 3, 2016 at 5:00 p.m.
The success of the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act inspired efforts to end the unauthorized movement of intangible heritage — music, art styles, stories, biological knowledge, and rituals — from indigenous communities to the settler societies in which they are embedded. Unlike the material objects subject to repatriation under NAGPRA, however, protection of intangible heritage raises thorny questions that have mostly resisted legislative remedy. Is heritage a form of intellectual property? Should it be considered property at all? This lecture reviews the current state of thinking about intangible heritage and considers legal dead ends as well as innovative solutions to the problem of protecting Native cultures from misappropriation.