Published in Information for Social Change, Volume No. 29, Summer 2009.


This paper discusses current issues surrounding the management of indigenous knowledge (IK) and traditional cultural expressions (TCEs) in libraries, archives and other cultural institutions. It addresses the need for: (1) ethical policies for the management of these knowledge systems, (2) critical approaches to the dominant library paradigm of information management, (3) recent efforts by the World Intellectual Property Organization and the American Library Association to craft policy on this topic, and (4) the need for and examples of collaboration with indigenous communities. Implications for social change with the implementation of socially responsible management systems are also considered.