WORKING WITH GWICH’IN TRADITIONAL KNOWLEDGE IN THE GWICH’IN SETTLEMENT REGION PREAMBLE The Gwich’in recognize and value the fact that living on the land for many millennia has provided them with an extensive body of knowledge, values, beliefs and practices that many people today refer to as traditional knowledge. This knowledge, which has been passed down orally and through personal experience and spiritual teachings, is the foundation of Gwich’in identity and survival. It continues to have relevance today and draws its’ strength from being used, revised and continuously updated to take into consideration new knowledge. The Gwich’in hold this knowledge in trust for future generations in the belief that this knowledge is of benefit to themselves and all humanity. The Gwich’in believe the best way to ensure its survival is to continue to use it and share it in a matter that respects this knowledge. I: GWICH’IN TRIBAL COUNCIL’S POLICY COMMITMENT Whereas the Gwich’in, as represented by the Gwich’in Tribal Council, are the holders of Gwich’in Traditional Knowledge in and around the Gwich’in Settlement Region; and, Whereas the Gwich’in Tribal Council’s role is to represent its membership on all matters that will impact the rights of the Gwich’in people, including the issue of protecting and promoting Gwich’in Traditional Knowledge; and, Whereas the Gwich’in Tribal Council is responsible for ensuring that the cultural and economic relationships between the Gwich’in and government recognize the Gwich’in way of life; Whereas the Gwich’in Tribal Council is responsible for negotiating self-government arrangements on matters including culture, heritage and language; and, Whereas the 1998 Gwich’in Annual Assembly passed a motion authorizing the Gwich’in Tribal Council to develop a policy on Gwich’in Traditional Knowledge research that would bring clarity to Gwich’in ownership and control of Gwich’in Traditional Knowledge; Therefore the Gwich’in Tribal Council hereby commits to take a lead role in the management of Gwich’in Traditional Knowledge issues in the Gwich’in Settlement Region by monitoring and guiding the collection, use and distribution of Gwich’in Traditional Knowledge. In taking on this role, the Gwich’in Tribal Council will work to ensure that Gwich’in Traditional Knowledge is used ethically and safeguarded for future generations of Gwich’in beneficiaries. II: GUIDING PRINCIPLES The Gwich’in Tribal Council will manage Gwich’in Traditional Knowledge issues in the Gwich’in Settlement Region in a manner that: 1 DRAFT January 21, 2004

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