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The Amauti and Intellectual Property Rights


In 1997, Pauktuutit became a member of the Indigenous Caucus of the Canadian Working Group on Article 8(j). The members of this group shared information and ideas on how Canada should implement the United Nations’ Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and specifically Article 8(j) of the Convention. The working group gave Pauktuutit the impetus and encouragement to begin exploring the issues of traditional knowledge (TK) and intellectual property rights (IPR) in the context of the Inuit women’s amauti.

The garment was perceived as a suitable case study to look at the issues surrounding cultural property, traditional knowledge, intellectual property rights, and individual versus collective rights in the context of Canadian laws and legislation and in the context of international agreements and conventions.