We are seeking a marketing strategist! Visit our opportunities page for more information.

Grounding Indigenous Rights

What is Local Contexts?

Local Contexts is a global initiative that supports Indigenous communities with tools that can reassert cultural authority in heritage collections and data. By focusing on Indigenous Cultural and Intellectual Property and Indigenous Data Sovereignty, Local Contexts helps Indigenous communities repatriate knowledge and gain control over how data is collected, managed, displayed, accessed, and used in the future.

Local Contexts recognizes the inherent sovereignty that Indigenous communities have over knowledge and data that comes from their lands, territories, and waters.

Local Contexts Labels and Notices were created to ground intellectual and cultural property rights in cultural heritage, data, and genetic resources within digital environments.

The Labels and Notices are generated and managed using the Local Contexts Hub.

Indigenous communities

reinforce rights by applying TK and BC Labels

Traditional Knowledge (TK) and Biocultural (BC) Labels establish Indigenous cultural authority and governance over Indigenous data and collections by adding provenance information and contextual metadata (including community names), protocols, and permissions for access, use, and circulation.

Institutions and researchers

disclose interests by placing Notices

Black square with the letters BC in the middle in white.

Notices are tools for institutions, repositories, and researchers to support ethical use and reinforce relationships with Indigenous communities. They also work to educate the public around Indigenous rights and interests in historical and future collections and data.

What is the Local Contexts Hub?

The Local Contexts Hub is a web portal that enables the customization of Labels by Indigenous communities and the generation of Notices by institutions and researchers. Labels and Notices can be applied to Local Contexts Projects created within the Hub depending on the account type.


Community accounts can customize TK and BC Labels to display local and traditional protocols. The Labels are used as digital signifiers to explain how Indigenous history and culture is accessed and used going forward. These Labels can be attached by community accounts to Local Contexts Projects.


Institution accounts can apply Notices to Local Contexts Projects. Local Contexts Projects document information about a particular item, collection, sample, etc. Applying Notices allows institutions to engage acknowledge, and make visible Indigenous interests in collections, information, and data.


Researcher accounts are specifically for independent researchers. Researcher accounts are very similar to institution accounts but only have one member, the account creator. Researchers can apply Notices to Local Contexts Projects that document particular data or research you may have conducted.

Hub Users









News and Updates