Last month, a member of the Responsible Data community asked the mailing list about responsible data protocols for indigenous communities. This prompted the community to share what turned out to be a wealth of resources.
We’ve collected them all below. Together, they offer an introduction to the topic of responsible data protocols for indigenous communities. We’d like to thank Eimear Farrell, Anna Levy, Linda Raftree, Vanessa Raymond and Javier Ruiz for contributing to the discussion, and suggesting these resources.
We’ve divided the suggested works into sections: examples of ethical research guidelines for working with indigenous people, responsible data research guidelines, examples of indigenous data initiatives, and upcoming projects.
If you spot gaps in the list, send over references to research[at]theengineroom.org, and we’ll add them in. And if you’re interested in responsible data-related discussions like this, join the Responsible Data mailing list!
Examples of research protocols for respecting the rights of indigenous people
- Earlier this year, the San People of South Africa issued a Code of Ethics for researchers, and became the first indigenous people in Africa to develop such guidelines. The new code of ethics asks researchers to submit proposals for their studies to the San council for approval, and respect the privacy of the San.
- The Alaska Federation of Natives has a code of ethics for researchers in their community as well, which was adopted in 1993.
- The First Nations principles of OCAP are a set of standards that establish how First Nations data should be collected, protected, used or shared.
- The ‘Longitudinal Study of Indigenous Children Data Protocols’ were developed in 2013 in the context of the Australian study, ‘Footprints in Time: The Longitudinal Study of Indigenous Children.’
- The report of RightsCon 2017 includes a summary of a session on ‘Mapping Land Rights: Using Technology to Protect the Living Forest With The Sarayaku Community of Ecuador’.
- Although not specific to indigenous peoples and communities, the recent publication by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on ‘A Human Rights-Based Approach to Data – Leaving No One Behind in the 2030 Development Agenda’ is a useful resource.
- A wealth of resources is available at the US Indigenous Data Sovereignty Network (USIDSN), hosted by the Native Nations Institute at the University of Arizona.
- The Indigenous Navigator offers an example of participatory data collection methods, and provides a framework and set of tools for indigenous peoples to systematically monitor the level of recognition and implementation of their rights.
- A recent primer on indigenous data governance doubles as a call for action for native nations, tribal citizens, governments, organizations, scholars, and funders.
- The ATSIDA Protocols provides a best-practice framework for ensuring the ethical collection, management and sharing of research data about indigenous people and communities for secondary use and analysis.
- Power, rights, respect and data ownership in academic research with indigenous peoples’, and Alex Byrne’s ‘The importance of culture in digital ecosystems: managing indigenous research data’.
Data initiatives with indigenous communities
- The USIDSN web portal includes links to several Indigenous Data Initiatives, including the British Columbia First Nations Data Governance Initiative (BCFNDGI).
- The web portal also provides some information on the Aboriginal and Torre Strait Islander Data Archive (ATSIDA), which was established to provide a trusted and secure digital repository for research data relating to the Indigenous peoples of Australia.
- Google Earth has collaborated with Chief Almir Surui to map his tribe’s land in the Amazon rainforest.
- Google Maps has recently announced that it has integrated Canadian indigenous territories into its maps.
Open North is currently working in collaboration with the British Columbia First Nations’ Data Governance Initiative (BCFNDGI) and regional First Nations leaders to research the relationship between open data and indigenous data sovereignty. The result of these conversations, ‘Decolonizing Data: Indigenous Data Sovereignty Primer’, will be released over the coming months.