Indigenous Cultural Expressions and Indigenous Cultural Property

This page is under development. It will not attempt to propose or take a position on how, or whether, Indigenous cultural expressions can be approached from, or somehow worked to fit within, existing copyright law. Rather, we will aim for it to draw from and point to a collection of diverse resources and positions in this area. It is meant to encourage thoughtful consideration by those seeking information about copyright – and those, too, seeking to be better relations. We hope it will be  provocative as well as informative.

The sensitive nature of any use of Indigenous cultural expressions is heightened by such other factors as a significant history of appropriation and/or misuse, whether or not intended. A good starting assumption when such cultural expressions are found incorporated in published works or in performances or recordings would be that no permission may have been sought or given.


Image used by permission of K Barnes (

This map is a sonic engagement of Treaty Six on the North Campus of the University of Alberta.

The Campus has a long history as Native Land, be it as a traditional meeting place for diverse Indigenous peoples (Cree, Blackfoot, Métis, Nakota Sioux, Dene, Saulteaux/Anishinaabe, Inuit, Haudenosaunee, and others) on the banks of the kisiskāciwani-sīpiy (North Saskatchewan River).


Intro to Copyright Law