Re: Decolonizing Anthropology

Fri, 3 Feb 1995 10:07:15 -0600

How do you propose separating precolumbian from modern genetic
improvements in, say, Zea mays? I have a feeling the worldwide
population dependent upon the cultivation of this crop may be a *bit*
reluctant to pay royalties to Native Americans! Anyway, how do you
propose defining "Native Americans"? Membership in a recognized tribe?
Will the benefits of this ownership be proportional to the indigenous
genetic constitution of these individuals? What about those Native
Americans whose documentation of identity as such failed to survive
the ravages of colonialism?

Many of the most useful "genetic resources" come from plants that are
wild and not cultivated. Why limit rights to "indigenous horticulture"?

On Thu, 2 Feb 1995, Robert Johnson wrote:

> Proposal #7
> Native Americans must be given ownership over the genetic resources
> of their indigenous horticulture including the current and future
> genetic manipulation of those resources.