Artist Vicki Couzens, Gunditjmara Tribe.
Koorie Heritage Trust Inc. collection.
Statement of Principles relating to Australian Indigenous Knowledge and the Archives
Basis for Statement
The Statement of Principles relating to Australian Indigenous Knowledge and the Archives is based on an extensive analysis of international and local rights declarations and statements, protocols developed within Australia and internationally, and the findings of the Trust and Technology: Building Archival Systems for Indigenous Oral Memory Research Project 2003-2007.
Rights statements and protocols which underpin this Statement of Principles include:
- United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (2007) which declares that Indigenous peoples:
- have the right of self-determination and can choose their political status and the way they want to develop (article 3)
- have the right to keep and develop their distinct characteristics and systems of law; they also have the right, if they want, to take part in the life of the rest of the country (article 4)
- shall be free from cultural genocide (which places an onus on governments to prevent actions which take away their distinct cultures and identities; the taking of their land and resources; their removal from their land; measures of assimilation; propaganda against them (article 7)
- have the right to their distinct identities, including the right to identify themselves as Indigenous (article 8) (UN 2007)
- Victorian Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006 (Victoria 2006)
- United Nations Human Rights Council's Joinet-Orentlicher Principles, which codify, amongst other key rights, the right for individuals and communities to know the truth about past events, and have been formulated with post-colonial and post-trauma societies in mind (UNHRC 1997 & 2005)
- Australian Indigenous Cultural and Intellectual Property Rights which provide for the ownership and control of Indigenous heritage, including 'documentation of Indigenous peoples' heritage in all forms of media' (ATSIC 1999)
- Statement of the 2003/05 World Summits on the Information Society which formulated the goal of a 'people-centred, inclusive and development-oriented Information Society' and recognised the need to pay attention to the 'special situation of indigenous peoples, as well as to the preservation of their heritage and their cultural legacy' (WSIS 2003 & 2005)
- Protocols for Native American Archival Materials (First Archivists Circle 2007)
- ATSI Library and Information Resources Network Protocols 2005, an updated version of 1995 ATSI Protocols for Libraries, Archives and Information Services (ATSLIRN 2005)
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