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  • Implications of the Clyde River Case for Indigenous Peoples
    “True reconciliation is rarely, if ever, achieved in courtrooms.”   So writes the Supreme Court of Canada in its recently released decision in Clyde River (Hamlet) v Petroleum Geo-Services Inc. This case is being considered a victory for the residents of Clyde River – it was their appeal that brought the case before the Court - and there are…
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  • Indigenous Traditional Knowledge Remains Marginalized in Canada’s Healthcare System
    As Canadians, we often take for granted that we have the right to decide what happens to our bodies. From diet and nutrition, to the courses of medication that we take or the surgeries that we undergo, we are accustomed to having a say in how we are treated and to being supported in those choices by our healthcare…
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  • ABS Canada Welcomes and Congratulates uOttawa Faculty of Law First Elder-in-Residence, Claudette Commanda
    The University of Ottawa Faculty of Law (located on unceded Algonquin territory) recently announced that Claudette Commanda will serve as its new Elder in Residence. This position aims to help further reconciliation and promote learning of Indigenous legal mechanisms and respect for traditional protocols. Claudette will offer knowledge to both students and staff, with a perspective that has historically…
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What is the best way to ensure Aboriginal-sensitive access and benefit sharing (ABS) of genetic resources?

We are holding a series of focus groups across the country. Representatives from Aboriginal communities and organizations, governments, civil society, and the private sector will gather to discuss how best to protect Aboriginal interests through access and benefit sharing policies.


Rosy Periwinkle

Catharanthus roseus is a shrubby flower that is native to Madagascar. The plant has been used in traditional medicines. Its root is used in the treatment of leukemia and Hodgkin's lymphoma. Recent patents by pharmaceutical companies, without compensation, have led to accusations of biopiracy.


Called Llhoba by the San people of the Namib desert, this spiny succulent is known for its medicinal properties. Its flowers smell like rotten meat and is pollinated by flies. The plant is popular in western holistic medicine as an appetite suppressant, despite little scientific support.


Teff, or xaafii in Oromo, is a cereal grain that is native to Ethiopia and Eritrea. Teff is traditionally important in these areas as a food grain with high nutritional content. Teff has become popular in the west as a gluten-free diets have become prevalent. It is a common ingredient in gluten-free beer.

Endod Berry

Commonly called the African soapberry, endod berries are native to Tropical and Southern Africa. It is traditionally used as a soap and shampoo. The berry has a number of genetic uses. It may be effective in controlling schistosomiasis - a parasitic disease.


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