Indigenous data sovereignty (IDS) refers to a commitment to the recognition, restoration, and revitalization of rights of Indigenous Peoples, groups, and Nations related to collection, analysis, sharing, distribution, ownership, and control of data related to Indigenous communities, cultures, and knowledges. Indigenous knowledges have been accessed, exploited, and commodified of by non-Indigenous peoples, both historically and contemporarily. IDS efforts and movements strive to increase awareness and support Indigenous communities in their self-determined efforts to sustain, protect, manage, interpret, and apply data. While each Indigenous individual, community, and Nation has a unique understanding of knowledge and data, there are some aspects usually shared across contexts.

IDS recognizes:

  1. Indigenous sovereignty, autonomy, and self-determination in terms of research and practice interests, needs, methods, and applications
  2. Community-, Nation-, context-, and land-specific needs and interests
  3. Collective and traditional understandings of responsible knowledge access, transfer, and ownership
  4. Individual, community, and Nation protocols and agreements for informed consent, data collection, analysis, and sharing, and dissemination of knowledge
  5. Protection of sensitive data, including those specific to ceremony, land, and language
  6. Community-centered, place-relational, and community-led theorizing, research, practice, and teaching
  7. Legal and policy protections for Indigenous knowledges and lands at local, national, and international scales
  8. Ethical and cultural review by community leaders and experts (this may include Tribal Institutional Review Boards, but can also include other formal or informal types of review)
  9. Ongoing partnerships to ensure comprehensive collaboration and genuine respect
  10. Use of relational, participatory, and Indigenous research methodologies

External Resources

MSU Resources