International Indigenous Data Sovereignty IG Charter Statement

19 Mar 2017

International Indigenous Data Sovereignty IG Charter Statement

NOTE - Please see the revised version of this Chater Statement attached to the page here.  Updated as of 16 June 2017.

 

 

      The call for Indigenous data sovereignty (ID-Sov) —the right of a nation to govern the collection, ownership, and application of its own data—has grown in intensity and scope over the past five years. To date three national-level Indigenous data sovereignty networks exist: Te Mana Raraunga - Maori Data Sovereignty Network, the United States Indigenous Data Sovereignty Network (USIDSN), and the Maiamnayri Wingara Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Data Sovereignty Group in Australia. Similar initiatives are underway in Hawaii and Sweden. Currently, these networks are engaging in an informal, and somewhat adhoc fashion, to share information and strategies, hold joint events, and collaborate on research. In the last two years alone this spirit of collaboration has produced four events [1], six joint panel/workshops initiatives [2], and a co-edited book, Indigenous Data Sovereignty: Toward an Agenda. Freely available online, the book had about 2,000 downloads within a month of publication, reflecting the very high level of interest in ID-Sov. These efforts notwithstanding, there are resource and infrastructure constraints to advancing the shared goals and aspirations of these ID-Sov stakeholders. What is needed is a more robust and coherent international collaboration to achieve impactful outcomes at the intersection of Indigenous data sovereignty, Indigenous data governance, and research.

The goals of the International Indigenous Data Sovereignty Interest Group are clearly aligned with the RDA mission of creating a global community to develop and adopt infrastructure that promotes data-sharing, data-driven research, and data use. Those of us already involved in the national-level networks are strong advocates for data-driven research and data use, and are also working in varied ways to build data capabilities beyond academic institutions, so as to benefit Indigenous communities. Through more effective collaboration, we seek to provide a highly visible international platform for ID-Sov that integrates and leverages existing ID-sov groups to create new opportunities for research and outreach. We also seek to attract new stakeholders beyond our current networks, including researchers, data users and indigenous communities. To that end all three existing ID-Sov networks have developed strong relationships with Indigenous stakeholders including tribes, Non Governmental Organisations, and Indigenous policy institutes, and researchers.

 

            The International Indigenous Data Sovereignty Interest Group will add value to the RDA and ID-Sov communities through the following objectives:

  1. Serving as a platform that leads to the formation of one or more Working Groups. We envisage that our ID-Sov IG would lead to the establishment of a Working Group, with a focus on co-creating an international indigenous data governance framework founded on ID-Sov principles (see below).
  2. Enabling better communication and coordination across different Working Groups/Interest Groups. One of the important features of ID-Sov is that it has broad relevance and potential for impact across diverse sectors and activities including (but not limited to) agriculture, genetics, archiving, intellectual property rights relating to traditional knowledge, data versioning, and mapping. In addition to sharing strategies and resources within their groups, the IG and WGs will also be in a position to engage with a global community of researchers, policy-makers, and leaders.
  3. Serving to communicate and coordinate the efforts of the national-level Indigenous data sovereignty networks efforts, fostering synergies, bringing new groups/members to RDA and conversely bringing the WGs activities to the attention of external parties.

 

User scenario(s) or use case(s) the IG wishes to address (what triggered the desire for this IG in the first place):

 

     Like other nation states, Indigenous nations need data about their citizens and communities to make informed decisions. However, the information that Indigenous nations have access to is often unreliable, inaccurate, and irrelevant. Federal, state, and local governments have primarily collected these data for their own use. Indigenous nations’ reliance on external data that do not reflect the community’s needs, priorities, and self-conceptions is a threat to self-determination.

The demand for Indigenous data is increasing as Indigenous nations and communities engage in economic, social, and cultural development on an unprecedented level. Given the billions of dollars in research funding spent each year and the increasing momentum of the international big data and open data movements, Indigenous nations and communities are uniquely positioned to claim a seat at the table to ensure Indigenous peoples are directly involved in efforts to promote data equity in Indigenous communities.

The International Indigenous Data Sovereignty Interest Group will provide infrastructure and collaboration to advance the shared goals and aspirations of these ID-Sov stakeholders. In addition, the IG provides a platform at the intersection of Indigenous data sovereignty, Indigenous data governance, and research to educate scholars across disciplines share WG outcomes and outputs with

 

Objectives (A specific set of focus areas for discussion, including use cases that pointed to the need for the IG in the first place.   Articulate how this group is different from other current activities inside or outside of RDA.):

     

Neither an IG nor a WG exists within or external to RDA that focuses on international collaborations on ID-Sov. The International Indigenous Data Sovereignty Interest Group objectives include:

  1. Serving as a platform that leads to the formation of one or more Working Groups. We envisage that our ID-Sov IG would lead to the establishment of a Working Group, with a focus on co-creating an international indigenous data governance framework founded on ID-Sov principles (see below).
  2. Enabling better communication and coordination across different Working Groups/Interest Groups. One of the important features of ID-Sov is that it has broad relevance and potential for impact across diverse sectors and activities including (but not limited to) agriculture, genetics, archiving, intellectual property rights relating to traditional knowledge, data versioning, and mapping. In addition to sharing strategies and resources within their groups, the IG and WGs will also be in a position to engage with a global community of researchers, policy-makers, and leaders.
  3. Serving to communicate and coordinate the efforts of the national-level Indigenous data sovereignty networks efforts, fostering synergies, bringing new groups/members to RDA and conversely bringing the WGs activities to the attention of external parties.

 

 

Participation (Address which communities will be involved, what skills or knowledge should they have, and how will you engage these communities.  Also address how this group proposes to coordinate its activity with relevant related groups.):

 

     The International Indigenous Data Sovereignty Interest Group will link Indigenous data users, leaders, information and communication technology providers, researchers, policymakers and planners, businesses, service providers, and community advocates together to provide a highly visible international platform for ID-Sov that integrates and leverages existing ID-sov groups to create new opportunities for research and outreach. To that end all three existing ID-Sov networks have developed strong relationships with Indigenous stakeholders including tribes, Non Governmental Organisations, and Indigenous policy institutes, and researchers. We propose to use the RDA Plenary as an opportunity to establish relationships and connections with other IG. We also seek to attract new stakeholders beyond our current networks, including researchers, data users and indigenous communities. Note that IG members need not be Indigenous, so long as they are interested in furthering the aims of ID-Sov, data governance toward ID-Sov, and data-driven research.​

 

Outcomes (Discuss what the IG intends to accomplish.  Include examples of WG topics or supporting IG-level outputs that might lead to WGs later on.): The International Indigenous Data Sovereignty Interest Group envisions three categories of outcomes:

 

  1. Working Groups. We envisage that our ID-Sov IG would lead to the establishment of Working Groups, with a focus on:
    1. Co-creating an international indigenous data governance framework founded on ID-Sov principles and

    2. Establishing an international collaborative funding proposal to Indigenous stakeholders in order to design a clear pathway from research to impact.
  2. Enabling better communication and coordination across different Working Groups/Interest Groups. One of the important features of ID-Sov is that it has broad relevance and potential for impact across diverse sectors and activities including (but not limited to) agriculture, genetics, archiving, intellectual property rights relating to traditional knowledge, data versioning, and mapping. In addition to sharing strategies and resources within their groups, the IG and WGs will also be in a position to engage with a global community of researchers, policy-makers, and leaders.
  3. Serving to communicate and coordinate the efforts of the national-level Indigenous data sovereignty networks efforts, fostering synergies, bringing new groups/members to RDA and conversely bringing the WGs activities to the attention of external parties.

Mechanism (Describe how often your group will meet and how will you maintain momentum between Plenaries.):

 

The International Indigenous Data Sovereignty Interest Group will use the following mechanisms for communication and collaboration.

  • Monthly virtual meetings via video conference, shared documents, etc.
  • Informal and frequent email contact among chairs and workgroups.
  • Monthly listserv messages to IG members from the chairs about IG updates, WG efforts, etc.
  • Biannual RDA Plenaries
  • Listserv and Facebook group where members may post about Indigenous data sovereignty and data governance resources, current events, and conferences.

 

 

Timeline (Describe draft milestones and goals for the first 12 months):

The International Indigenous Data Sovereignty Interest Group will commence via virtual chair meetings. In addition, varying combinations of IG co-chairs and members have collaborative events1 and panels2 planned in March, April, and May 2017. These events will launch the WG1 effort to co-create an Indigenous data governance framework.

 

 

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Potential Group Members (Include proposed chairs/initial leadership and all members who have expressed interest):

The International Indigenous Data Sovereignty Interest Group co-chairs include representation from three continents (Europe, North America, Oceana), four countries (Australia, New Zealand, Sweden, United States) and four disciplines (demography, history, public health, sociology). The initial IG members expand the discipline to include business administration and Indigenous studies.

 

Footnotes:

[1] These are: International Workshop on Data Sovereignty for Indigenous Peoples: Current Practice and Futures Needs, Canberra, July 2015 (hosted by John Taylor and Tahu Kukutai, sponsored by Academy of Social Sciences in Australia); Indigenous open data summit, Madrid, October 2016 (hosted by USIDSN, sponsored by the Native Nations Institute and the International Open Data Conference); Indigenous Data Sovereignty Summit, Auckland, November 2016 (hosted by Te Mana Raraunga, sponsored by Swedish Research Council, Wallenberg Academy Fellows, and Ngā Pae o Te Māramatanga Māori Centre of Research Excellence); Indigenous Data Governance, Los Angeles, May 2017 (hosted by USIDSN, sponsored by the Native Nations Institute and the University of California Los Angeles).

 

[2] A joint panel ‘Indigenous Data Governance and Open Data Futures’ at the 3rd International Open Data Conference, Ottawa, May 2015; a joint panel ‘In pursuit of Indigenous data sovereignty:  Directions and challenges’ at the Native American Indigenous Studies conference, Hawaii, May 2016; a collaborative workshop ‘Indigenous Data and Information Sovereignty: Making Open Data work for Indigenous Peoples’ at the RDA Eighth Plenary, September 2016; a joint panel ‘Indigenous + Data’ at the 4th International Open Data Conference, Madrid, October, 2016; a masterclass on Indigenous Data Sovereignty at the Common Roots Indigenous Governance conference, Brisbane, March 2017; a joint panel “Indigenous Nation Data Governance: Data for Nation Rebuilding” at the National Congress of American Indians mid-year Policy Research Center data pre-conference, Uncasville, CT, June 2017.