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Protecting Knowledge–Traditional Resource Rights in the New Millennium: Defending Indigenous Peoples’ Heritage.

Daes, Erica-Irene A.
June 4, 2015

Source: (2005) In Wanda D. McCaslin, ed., Justice as Healing: Indigenous Ways. Writings on Community Peacemaking and Restorative Justice from the Native Law Centre. St. Paul, MN: Living Justice Press. Pp. 231-239.

“I want to emphasize this important point as we begin our work together. A people’s heritage really lives or dies in their hearts. Centuries of foreign occupation and oppression cannot destroy a people’s heritage if they continue to cherish and believe in it. I know this is true because I am Greek and because my country survived nearly four hundred years of foreign rule by the Ottoman Empire.
“But it is also true, in my experience, that a people can lose their heritage in a single generation. People who neither respect nor value their heritage can lose it–or sell it off–in no time at all. It is futile to hoard your heritage in museums and books if your children are ashamed of their parents and grandparents and only value what they see on television. I am saying this not only as a legal scholar but also as a grandmother.” (excerpt)


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