This paper will explore the role of universities as one of the most important gatekeepers that facilitate the appropriation of Indigenous medical knowledge (IMK) from Indigenous communities to transnational pharmaceutical corporations. The first section will deconstruct the “denial of dependency” upon IMK.

Using case studies, the critique will demonstrate a complex mystification of Indigenous knowledge and labour, and a de-identification of Indigenous people and nature as the source of the medicines appropriated. The last section will analyse the law and policy context of the past 20 years that is responsible for creating a process of academic capitalism that has strengthened this phenomenon.