Drawing "A Line in the Sand" for Indigenous Culture and Identity

A Line in the Sand” is dedicated to protecting Indigenous cultural property and all other related identity issues. The site defines cultural property as not only including “land and other tangible property, but ideas, traditions, and other non-tangibles.” Where do we draw that line in the sand with respect to appropriating Native culture, defeating Aboriginal stereotypes or creating a sovereign system? Another great thing about “A Line in the Sand” is the recognition that everyone’s line may be in a different place. Lived experiences influence highly your opinions on the matter.

 

Protection of these rights is especially important for societies that prioritize the collective rather than the individual. That means that an Aboriginal or Indigenous tribe or group needs to have the right to control the use of their cultural property.

 

Theft of cultural property is especially damaging and dangerous to the group because their spirituality or ideas are appropriated and can be used in a way that is disrespectful to the group’s culture and values. But that doesn’t mean that cultural property can’t include tangible things like art, clothing, or artifacts.

 

“A Line in the Sand” website is a great place to explore and educate yourself about the importance of cultural property and related topics. The site is American-run, so there are many references to Native Americans – however the tips and discussion are beneficial for Indigenous and non-Indigenous supporters around the world.

 

Here are some other components of the site:

 

-Legal tools

-Discussion on sovereignty

-stereotypes

-Indigenous responses

-additional resources 

 

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