COMMITTEE OBSERVATIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
The Standing Committee recognizes that, in many cases, the Act fails to meet the expectations of Indigenous peoples with respect to the protection, preservation, and dissemination of their cultural expressions. The Committee also recognizes the need to effectively protect traditional arts and cultural expressions in a manner that empowers Indigenous communities, and to ensure that individual Indigenous creators have the same opportunities to fully participate in the Canadian economy as non-Indigenous creators.
Achieving these objectives will require that policymakers approach the matter in creative ways. They could, for example, draw inspiration outside of copyright and intellectual property law and carefully consider how different legal traditions, including Indigenous legal traditions, interact with each other. Such work requires a more focused and extensive consultation process than this statutory review. The Committee, however, cannot stress enough the importance of moving forward collaboratively with Indigenous groups and other stakeholders on the matter, and that potential solutions proposed by Indigenous witnesses in this review should serve as a starting point. The Committee therefore recommends:
That the Government of Canada consult with Indigenous groups, experts, and other stakeholders on the protection of traditional arts and cultural expressions in the context of Reconciliation, and that this consultation address the following matters, among others:
- The recognition and effective protection of traditional arts and cultural expressions in Canadian law, within and beyond copyright legislation;
- The participation of Indigenous groups in the development of national and international intellectual property law;
- The development of institutional, regulatory, and technological means to protect traditional arts and cultural expressions, including but not limited to: 1) Creating an Indigenous Art Registry; 2) Establishing an organization dedicated to protecting and advocating for the interests of Indigenous creators; and 3) Granting Indigenous peoples the authority to manage traditional arts and cultural expressions, notably through the insertion of a non-derogation clause in the Copyright Act.
The Committee cited, but did not repeat, the recommendation from (Manatch, ICMI, and Sa’ke’j Youngblood Henderson for a non-derogation clause (see footnote 49, page 29 of attached PDF below).