What is Indigenous Data Sovereignty?
Indigenous Data Sovereignty is the ability for Indigenous peoples, communities and Nations to participate, steward and control data that is created with or about themselves. The term sovereignty refers to the fact that Indigenous Nations are sovereign in their governance and that extends to their data and Knowledges as well. It recognizes that Indigenous people are the ultimate authority in their data and Knowledges and aims to redefine Indigenous peoples' relationship to research from being participants or subjects to being meaningful partners and co-researchers.
What are Indigenous Data?
"In general, data are any quantitative or qualitative information about a specific topic that are collected through observation, surveys and reporting. For the purpose of this Protocol, Indigenous data is any information that is from or about any Indigenous person or their community, territory or nation, including but not limited to their languages, Knowledges, customs or traditions, intellectual property and ideas. Indigenous data are also relational and reciprocal, and need to reflect and be held by the community as a collective, and are equally as important to pass down through generations as a part of lifelong journeys of coming to be."
Toward data sovereignty: a national conversation about strengthening evaluation in Indigenous higher contexts in Australia
(Created by the National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education, available under CC-BY 4.0)
Beginning in 2019, the Tri-Agency (Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, the Canadian Institute for Health Research and the Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada) worked with Indigenous researchers, community members and Knowledge Keepers to develop and enact an Indigenous Research Protocol. This resulted in the "Setting new directions to support Indigenous research and research training in Canada 2019 - 2022" Strategic Plan. This was done as part of the Research Data Management and all recommendations, including the Indigenous Research and Data Sovereignty Protocols must be implemented by all recipients of Tri-Agency funding by March 1, 2023.
For more information on services provided by UofT Libraries on Research Data Management, please visit the Research Data Management Home Page. You may also contact a librarian for questions and enquiries using this contact form.
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