Dr. Heidi Bohaker (University of Toronto), Lisa Truong (Carleton University), Dr. Kate Higginson (Research Coordinator Great Lakes Alliance for the Study of Aboriginal Arts & Cultures), Dr. Ruth Phillips (Canada Research Chair in Modern Culture, Professor of Art History, Carleton University)

Property Rights and the Challenge of Collaboration in a Digital World:  Questions Raised by the Knowledge Sharing Database of the Great Lakes Research

Dr. Heidi Bohaker (University of Toronto), Lisa Truong (Cultural Mediations/Visual Culture, Carleton), Dr. Kate Higginson (Research Coordinator Great Lakes Alliance for the Study of Aboriginal Arts & Cultures), Dr. Ruth Phillips (Canada Research Chair in Modern Culture, Professor of Art History, Carleton).

Our paper will focus on the negotiation of Indigenous intellectual property rights and rights of possession and reproduction around collaboratively constructed knowledge and questions of data management. The authors are members of the Great Lakes Research Alliance for the Study of Aboriginal Arts and Cultures (GRASAC), a multidisciplinary network of researchers and institutions that contributes to the GRASAC Knowledge Sharing database (GKS), which allows for remote collaboration and sharing of knowledge across disciplines and between cultures about aspects of Great Lakes heritage that are held in museums and archives around the world. Our collaborate methodology, combined with the need to protect Indigenous intellectual property rights and sacred and sensitive knowledge, raises important questions about the “ownership” of information that we are currently researching as an organization.