The legislation concerns merely rights to ownership, and it is challenging to assign immaterial or material rights to cultural heritage and knowledge which is built upon and passed on over generations.

How to regain control over cultural heritage is a question that the CARE principles (Carroll et al. 2020) seek to address. An example of a practical implementation of the CARE principles in data repositories is the application of Traditional Knowledge (TK) Labels developed by Local Context.

TK Labels are digital tags that define attribution, access, and rights to cultural heritage data. They are not legally binding as licenses and contracts and do not concern ownership, but intend to inform and educate. TK Labels act to guide non-indigenous people on responsible and appropriate stewardship and use of traditional knowledge and cultural heritage material. The labels define community expectations for ethical practices and make sure that Indigenous perspectives are recognised and respected.

TK Labels can be implemented in any repository hosting cultural heritage material, but must be used in collaboration with an indigenous community. In partnership, the repository and the indigenous community can develop procedural workflows for collaborative curation which are attentive to cultural sensitivities. There are 20 types of TK Labels, and each can be adapted to local needs.

Examples of the application of TK Labels can be seen in the American Library of Congress. The Passamaquoddy Tribe requests that you follow its recommendations for use as indicated on the TK Label for each recording.

Carroll, SR, et al. 2020. The CARE Principles for Indigenous Data Governance. Data Science Journal, 19: 43, pp. 1–12.
Last modified: Tuesday, 13 December 2022, 9:02 AM