Policy Number: 707

Policy: Indigenous People

Date Adopted: 05/02

Revision Date:

References: Sec III.A Code of Ethics of the American Anthropological Association

Approved By: Robert A. Duringer, VP for Administration & Finance


Indigenous knowledge, traditional resources, and properties are central to the maintenance of identity for indigenous peoples. Traditional resources include plants, animals, and other material objects that may have sacred, ceremonial, heritage, or aesthetic qualities. Property for indigenous peoples has intangible, spiritual manifestations. The term Traditional Resource Rights (TRR) is used to define the many 'bundles of rights' that can be used for protection, compensation, and conservation of resources and properties of indigenous peoples. TRR includes basic human rights, the right to self-determination, collective rights, land and territorial rights, intellectual property rights, rights to protection of cultural property, folklore and cultural heritage, the recognition of cultural landscapes, and recognition of customary law and practice. Every indigenous community has its own customs and laws covering privacy, respect, permission, and compensation for its people during research, exploitation or non-indigenous uses of traditional resources or properties.

The University of Montana recognizes and respects TRR of indigenous peoples and undertakes to inform faculty, staff, and students that these must be considered before any activity is undertaken involving TRR. University personnel working with indigenous peoples are expected to adhere to Section III.A. of the Code of Ethics of the American Anthropological Association. If requested by The University of Montana, the principal or lead investigator must be prepared to certify that advance permission has been obtained from appropriate individuals or groups of the indigenous peoples to be studied and that the research procedures comply with all applicable tribal, state, and federal laws.

No Applicable Procedure