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Reconciling Traditions: A legal workshop on access and benefit sharing, indigenous traditional knowledge, and biodiversity

The relationship between the federal government and Canada’s indigenous peoples has undergone a number of significant developments over the past 12 months. The election of a new government in Ottawa, the long-anticipated release of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s report into Canada’s residential schools, and the launch of a national inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous women and girls are all kindling hope for a new, more respectful, and more constructive partnership between the government and Aboriginal communities. The current level of public engagement on issues critical to Aboriginal peoples is unprecedented – and it represents an exciting opportunity for indigenous lawyers and law students.


Join ABS Canada, a research group led by Professor Chidi Oguamanam and made up of uOttawa faculty, leading practitioners, and law students for an engaging discussion on a subject that has escaped this enhanced national attention: the laws, policies, and practices surrounding access to and use of “genetic” resources from Aboriginal lands, and associated traditional knowledge (TK).


Date: Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Time: 11:30 am – 1 pm

Location: University of Ottawa Faculty of Law, Fauteux Hall, 57 Louis-Pasteur Street, Room FTX 136.


As a range of stakeholders turn to Aboriginal TK and genetic resources to develop new products and adopt strategies for sustaining biodiversity and protecting the environment, a number of important questions emerge:


  1. How should this knowledge be shared, if at all?
  2. Can it ever be commercialized?
  3. How should access be granted?
  4. How will benefits be shared between holders of TK/GR and users?
  5. How do we engage these issues at the national and international level?


Our panel and Q+A will delve into these issues, exploring the tension between Aboriginal and Western legal traditions and highlighting the important work law students can do to shape this emerging and essential area of the law.


Please note that we are actively recruiting summer students, making it a great opportunity to learn more about the challenges and opportunities in working for our team, and legal careers in the fields of Aboriginal, IP, environmental, and constitutional law.


This event is open to the public. Lunch will be provided.

Chris Koziol is the Project Manager of ABS Canada, a SSRHC-funded research initiative based at the University of Ottawa, where he is currently a Juris Doctor candidate. Chris recently completed a Masters in International Affairs at Carleton University’s Norman Paterson School of International Affairs, where he also worked as a teaching assistant. He is a 2013 honours graduate of the Arthur Kroger College of Public Affairs at Carleton University where he minored in law and human rights. Chris is originally from Victoria on Canada’s beautiful west coast.