Indigenous Data

There are specific considerations and protocols surrounding Indigenous research data collection, use, and sharing

UBC Principles for Indigenous Data Governance 

UBC’s Indigenous Research Support Initiative (ISRI) has published its own Principles for Indigenous Data Governance:

  1. UBC recognizes Indigenous self-governance and self-determination
  2. Engagement and data governance will be informed by Indigenous communities following a community-driven and Nation-based pathway.
  3. Ownership and right to control their data, as asserted by Indigenous governments.
  4. Recognition that access and possession of Indigenous data must be respectfully permitted by the relevant authority. This applies to the collection, protection, use, and management of data records and information.
  5. UBC helps to advance the interests, rights, and jurisdiction with respect to reclamation of information in UBC’s possession including research data, records, and other types of information.
  6. Indigenous data governance standards apply to data that relates to each Nation and their identity as distinct people, communities, and Nations regardless of where the data is held across UBC.
  7. Individual rights and privacy are protected, while collective rights, privacy, and security are evolving.
  8. Adoption of common approaches to advancing data-related interests and issues will be considered.
  9. Collaboration on projects will increase the capacity of Indigenous Nations to manage and govern their own data and information.
  10. All activities of UBC ISRI will be transparent and consistent with co-developed management processes.

Please visit the ISRI web site for more information related to engagement principles, data governance, and ethics. ISRI is currently developing ethics guidelines for Indigenous research.

CARE Principles for Indigenous Data Governance

The CARE Principles for Indigenous Data Governance are designed to complement the FAIR principles and take into account the current and historic power imbalances between researchers and Indigenous communities. CARE stands for:

  • Collective Benefit – “Data ecosystems shall be designed and function in ways that enable Indigenous Peoples to derive benefit from the data.”
  • Authority to Control – Indigenous people have the right and authority to control their data.
  • Responsibility – Researchers working with Indigenous Peoples have a responsibility to support Indigenous Peoples rights.
  • Ethics – “Indigenous Peoples’ rights and wellbeing should be the primary concern at all stages of the data life cycle and across the data ecosystem.”

Please visit the Global Indigenous Data Alliance web site to learn more about the CARE Principles.

The First Nations Principles of OCAP® 

The OCAP® Principles of data governance outline how to interact with First Nations data. OCAP® stands for:

  • Ownership – First Nations communities or groups own their data collectively
  • Control – First Nations communities can control all aspects of the research cycle that impact them directly.
  • Access – First Nations retain access to the data, regardless of where it is held.
  • Possession – First Nations retain physical control of the data.

OCAP® certifications are available through the First Nations Information Governance Centre (FNIGC). OCAP® is a registered trademark of the FNIGC.


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