Concerns over Indigenous Data Sovereignty and Indigenous rights under the Nagoya Protocol underpin the development and application of Traditional Knowledge and Biocultural Labels/Notices. The Local Contexts system which delivers the Labels and Notices, is focused on implementing Indigenous provenance, protocols, and permissions into digital infrastructures.The Labels and Notices are designed to provide a persistent and durable connection between collaborating Indigenous communities and researchers, research projects, genetic resources, Digital Sequence Information (DSI), and associated traditional knowledge, that exist as metadata in sample/data repositories .

The Biocultural Labels support Nagoya Protocol expectations around the disclosure and origins of genetic resources (i.e. Provenance Label) and help to define and communicate Indigenous community expectations and consent about appropriate and future use of genetic resources and derived benefits. Importantly BC Labels may only be applied by an Indigenous community, and they are both human readable and machine readable. Each Label has a persistent unique identifier and the Label metadata (as text) is customized to each community context.

This presentation will introduce the Labels and Notices and explore the responsibilities that universities and researchers have to practically implement mechanisms that enable transparency around Indigenous rights and interests in support of Indigenous data sovereignty.

About the speakers

portrait of Associate Professor Jane AndersonAssociate Professor Jane Anderson
Associate Professor, New York University & Global Fellow, Engelberg Centre for Innovation Law and Policy (NYU Law School)

Jane has a Ph.D. in Law and works on intellectual and cultural property law, Indigenous rights and the protection of Indigenous/traditional knowledge and cultural heritage. For the last 20 years Jane has been working for and with Indigenous communities to find, access, control, and regain authority and ownership of Indigenous cultural and intellectual property collections and data within universities, libraries, museums and archives. Jane is co-founder of Local Contexts which delivers the Traditional Knowledge and Biocultural Labels and Notices. She is also the co-founder of ENRICH.


portrait of Associate Professor Maui HudsonAssociate Professor Maui Hudson
Associate Professor, Te Kotahi Research Institute (University of Waikato)

Maui Hudson is from Whakatōhea, Ngā Ruahine and Te Māhurehure. He is an Associate Professor, Te Kotahi Research Institute at the University of Waikato, focusing on the application of mātauranga Māori to decision-making across a range of contemporary contexts from new technologies to health, the environment to innovation. Māui supports Māori to engage in the research sector as a co-convener of SING Aotearoa, the New Zealand chapter of the Summer Internship for Indigenous Genomics, and Te Ahu o Rehua, a Network for Cross Cultural Ocean Knowledge connecting expertise across the fields of climate change, marine science, ocean health, voyaging and non-instrument navigation. Māui also advocates for Māori rights and interests through Te Mana Raraunga: Māori Data Sovereignty Network and the Global Indigenous Data Alliance. He is a co-founder of ENRICH, a joint initiative between the University of Waikato and New York University, and with Jane the co-developer of the Biocultural Labels and co-Director of Local Contexts.


About People, Plants and the Law Online Lecture Series

The People, Plants, and the Law lecture series explores the legal and lively entanglements of human and botanical worlds.

Today people engage with and relate to plants in diverse and sometimes divergent ways. Seeds—and the plants that they produce—may be receptacles of memory, sacred forms of sustenance, or sites of resistance in struggles over food sovereignty. Simultaneously, they may be repositories of gene sequences, Indigenous knowledge, bulk commodities, or key components of economic development projects and food security programs.

This lecture series explores the special role of the law in shaping these different engagements, whether in farmers’ fields, scientific laboratories, international markets, or elsewhere.


Online Seminar via Zoom