Indigenous Cultural and Intellectual Property (ICIP)

Based on the right to self-determination, ICIP rights are Indigenous People’s rights to their heritage and culture. Heritage includes all aspects of cultural practices, traditional knowledge, resources and knowledge systems developed by Indigenous people as part of their Indigenous identity. ICIP rights also cover:


  • Literary, performing and artistic works (Copyright)

  • Languages

  • Types of Knowledge, including spiritual knowledge

  • Tangible and intangible cultural property

  • Indigenous ancestral remains and genetic material

  • Cultural environmental resources

  • Sites of Indigenous significance

  • Documentation of Indigenous heritage.


ICIP rights are based in customary laws which are not recognised by the legal system. There are gaps in the law which mean that unless Indigenous people can meet the requirements of intellectual property laws like copyright, their rights are unprotected and open to exploitation.

Terri Janke and Company have developed the True Tracks® principles as a means of providing an outline for working with Indigenous peoples to protect ICIP and to apply the protocols to projects that work with Indigenous peoples and communities. These principles help to provide the basis for the creation of ICIP protocols.

How we can help you with your ICIP:

Watch Terri's Law Way video to learn more about the importance of having ICIP Protocols in business.

Our Blogs on ICIP

September 17, 2019

Are you an Indigenous entrepreneur, organisation or prescribed body corporate considering a joint venture? Do you know how to identify the right joint venture arrangement for you?  

Joint ventures or collaborations with other business entities are great for sharing...

Cultural institutions, such as museums, galleries, libraries and archives, are tasked with representing the contemporary cultural landscape and the history of the nation. This often involves the collecting, archiving and showcasing of Indigenous cultural materials and...

2019 is the United Nations International Year of Indigenous Languages. [1] This puts the spotlight on the work of the Indigenous language and cultural centres. This celebration provides a platform to showcase the different ways to revitalise Indigenous languages around...

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All professional photography is by Jamie James at James Photographic Services.

The painting  'Ancient Tracks and Waterholes' (2019) by Rene Kulitja has been used under license in the firm photographs on the TJC website homepage, staff profiles and careers page. See Maruku Arts for more work by Rene Kulitja.

The visual artwork ‘Freshwater Lagoon 1’ by Lisa Michl Ko-manggen has been used under license in some photographs and videos. See Cape York Art for more work by Ko-manggen.

The painting ‘My Country’ by Bibi Barba has been used under license in some photographs and Law Way videos. Visit her website to see more.

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