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Indigenous Research

What is Indigenous Data Sovereignty?

Data Sovereignty is the management of information in a way that aligns with the laws, practices and customs of the community in which it is located. In an Indigenous context this may manifest at a individual level or at a community level. 

Key Principles 

1. Indigenous nations and peoples have the right to ownership and governance over data about them, regardless of where that data is held. 

2. Indigenous nations and peoples have the right to access data about them, this data often comes in the form of government documents, and historic/contemporary archival documents. Often these documents support nation rebuilding. 


Indigenous Data

Indigenous data can come in many forms, but in general the data is created by, for, with, or about Indigenous communities. Here is a same of what the context of the data can be. 


Indigenous data can manifest as photographs, videos, sound recordings, textual documents, data sets, and much more. 


The First Nations principles of OCAP® are a set of standards that establish how First Nations data should be collected, protected, used, or shared. They are the de facto standard for how to conduct research with First Nations.

Standing for ownership, control, access and possession, OCAP® asserts that First Nations have control over data collection processes in their communities, and that they own and control how this information can be used.

For more information about OCAP®, it's history, and how to get OCAP® training please click on this link