New Zealander announced as WIPO Indigenous Fellow 2017
Article written by: Dr Tim Stirrup | Friday 3rd February 2017
The World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) announced on 2 February 2017 that Ms. Kiri Toki of Aotearoa New Zealand is to be the WIPO Indigenous Fellow 2017.
Indigenous fellows work in WIPO’s Traditional Knowledge Division on issues relevant to indigenous peoples. These include:
- The Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge
and Folklore (IGC);
- WIPO’s outreach to indigenous peoples and local communities;
- WIPO’s cooperation with the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues including protection of traditional knowledge; and
- Working with the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
The fellowship aims to strengthen capacity in the rapidly growing domain of indigenous intellectual property and develop policy for indigenous lawyers and policy advisers.
Ms. Toki is from Great Barrier Island and is Maori of Ngati Wai and Ngapuhi tribal descent. She holds a Master of Laws from Harvard Law School (United States of America) and a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) from the University of Auckland. Kiri is an experienced commercial litigator and is familiar with the application of intellectual property with respect to indigenous peoples, having advised Maori regarding the protection available over their traditional cultural expressions and traditional knowledge.
Kiri has also been active in a range of indigenous organizations, and has participated in international forums such as the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous issues (UNPFII) and the UN Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (EMRIP).
Ms Toki’s biography can be found here. Further details on the WIPO Indigenous Fellowship Program, as well as the biographies of previous Indigenous Fellows may be accessed through the Indigenous Portal on the WIPO website.
We warmly congratulate Ms. Toki on this important appointment and wish her all the best for her work at WIPO.