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Indigenous Data Sovereignty

Indigenous Peoples have always been “data warriors”.[1] Their ancient traditions recorded and protected information and knowledge through art, carving, song, chants and other practices. Deliberate efforts to expunge these knowledge systems were part and parcel of colonisation, along with State-imposed practices of counting and classifying Indigenous populations. As a result, Indigenous Peoples often encounter severe data deficits when trying to access high-quality, culturally relevant data with which to pursue our goals. Meanwhile there is an abundance of data that reflects and serves government interests on Indigenous Peoples and their lands.

Indigenous Data Sovereignty is defined as the right of Indigenous Peoples to own, control, access and possess data that derive from them, and which pertain to Nation membership, knowledge systems, customs or territories.[3],[4],[5] Indigenous Data Sovereignty is supported by Indigenous Peoples’ inherent rights to self-determination and governance over Indigenous Peoples, territories and resources as affirmed in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), as well as in domestic treaties. Indigenous Data Sovereignty recognises that data is a strategic resource and provides a framework for the ethical use of data to advance collective Indigenous well-being and self-determination.[6],[7]

[1] Rodriguez-Lonebear, Desi. “Building a data revolution in Indian Country”. In Indigenous data sovereignty: Toward an agenda, edited by Tahu Kukutai & John Taylor, 253-72. Canberra: ANU Press, 2016.

[2] Kukutai, Tahu, and John Taylor (Eds). Indigenous data sovereignty: Toward an agenda. Canberra: ANU Press, 2016.

[3] First Nations Information Governance Centre. “Pathways to First Nations’ data and information sovereignty.” In Indigenous data sovereignty: Toward an agenda, edited by Tahu Kukutai & John Taylor, 139-55. Canberra: ANU Press, 2016.

[4] Kukutai and Taylor, 2016. Op Cit.

[5] Snipp, Matthew. “What does data sovereignty imply: what does it look like?” In Indigenous data sovereignty: Toward an agenda, edited by Tahu Kukutai & John Taylor, 39-55. Canberra: ANU Press, 2016.

[6] First Nations Information Governance Centre, 2016. Op Cit.

[7] Hudson, Maui, et al. “Tribal data sovereignty: Whakatōhea rights and interests”. In Indigenous data sovereignty: Toward an agenda, edited by Tahu Kukutai & John Taylor, 157-78. Canberra: ANU Press, 2016.

Tags: Global governance

The Indigenous World 2022: Indigenous Data Sovereignty

Indigenous Peoples have always been “data warriors”.[1] Their ancient traditions recorded and protected information and knowledge through art, carving, song, chants and other practices. Deliberate efforts to expunge these knowledge systems were part and parcel of colonisation, along with State-imposed practices of counting and classifying Indigenous populations. As a result, Indigenous Peoples often encounter severe data deficits when trying to access high-quality, culturally relevant data with which to pursue our goals. Meanwhile there is an abundance of data that reflects and serves government interests on Indigenous Peoples and their lands.

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Indigenous World 2020: Indigenous Data Sovereignty

Indigenous Peoples have always been ‘data warriors’. Our ancient traditions recorded and protected information and knowledge through art, carving, song, chants and other practises. Deliberate efforts to expunge these knowledge systems were part and parcel of colonisation, along with state-imposed practices of counting and classifying Indigenous populations. As a result, Indigenous Peoples often encounter severe data deficits when trying to access high quality, culturally relevant data to pursue their goals, but an abundance of data that reflects and serves government interests regarding Indigenous Peoples and their lands.

Continue Reading

The Indigenous World 2021: Indigenous Data Sovereignty

Indigenous Peoples have always been “data warriors”.[1] Our ancient traditions recorded and protected information and knowledge through art, carving, song, chants and other practices. Deliberate efforts to expunge these knowledge systems were part and parcel of colonisation, along with state-imposed practices of counting and classifying Indigenous populations. As a result, Indigenous Peoples often encounter severe data deficits when trying to access high-quality, culturally-relevant data to pursue their goals but an abundance of data that reflects and serves government interests regarding Indigenous Peoples and their lands.

The concept of Indigenous Data Sovereignty is a relatively recent one, with the first major publication on the topic only appearing in 2016.[2] Indigenous Data Sovereignty is defined as the right of Indigenous Peoples to own, control, access and possess data that derive from them, and which pertain to their members, knowledge systems, customs or territories.[3],[4],[5] Indigenous Data Sovereignty is supported by Indigenous Peoples’ inherent rights of self-determination and governance over their peoples, territories and resources as affirmed in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), as well as in domestic treaties. Indigenous Data Sovereignty recognises that data is a strategic resource and provides a framework for the ethical use of data to advance collective Indigenous wellbeing and self-determination.[6],[7]

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