Table of Contents

International Trade in Indigenous Cultural Heritage

International Trade in Indigenous Cultural Heritage

Legal and Policy Issues

Edited by Christoph Beat Graber, Karolina Kuprecht and Jessica Christine Lai

The book is unique in taking a multi-faceted approach to cultural heritage, incorporating discussion on tangible and intangible, moveable and immoveable elements of indigenous peoples’ culture. From the perspectives of several international legal fields, including trade law, intellectual property, cultural property, cultural heritage law and human rights, the book explores how indigenous peoples could be empowered to participate more actively in the trade of their cultural heritage without being compelled to renounce important traditional values. The national and local legal realities in four jurisdictions (New Zealand, Australia, United States and Canada) lay the scene for a wide-ranging analysis of various possibilities and proposals on how this might be achieved.


Christoph B. Graber, Karolina Kuprecht and Jessica C. Lai

Subjects: law - academic, cultural heritage and art law, intellectual property law


Christoph B. Graber, Karolina Kuprecht and Jessica C. Lai The aim of this book, which is the result of a multi-year research project, is to study how international law could better contribute to promoting trade and development in indigenous cultural heritage (ICH) while, at the same time, respecting indigenous peoples’ traditional values. The cover image of this book captures one of the core ideas that we want to bring across: there are acceptable uses of indigenous cultural heritage, but there is also much misappropriation and inappropriate use, as illustrated by the Cherokee car and the Russian ice skaters wearing inauthentic Aboriginal attire (image source: AP) to qualify for and compete in the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics, for example. The image represents the question of how it is that we could best ‘rope in’ the trade of these inappropriate uses. The book emphasises a comprehensive meaning of the term ICH as frequently used by indigenous peoples themselves by incorporating tangible and intangible aspects as well as moveable and immoveable objects of indigenous peoples’ cultures (including traditional cultural expressions, knowledge, practices and property). The research question inevitably poses difficult problems of legitimacy and method, as Christoph Graber’s chapter demonstrates at the beginning of this book. Reflecting these difficulties, the research process leading to the present book was informed and guided by the precept of participative research, which is a typical feature of a transdisciplinary research methodology. The concept of participation was implemented by bringing together an eclectic group of...