data sovereignty

Indigenous Peoples and research: self-determination in research governance

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Indigenous Peoples are reimagining their relationship with research and researchers through greater self-determination and involvement in research governance. The emerging discourse around Indigenous Data Sovereignty has provoked discussions about decolonizing data practices and highlighted the importance of Indigenous Data Governance to support Indigenous decision-making and control of data. Given that much data are generated from research, Indigenous research governance and Indigenous Data Governance overlap. In this paper, we broaden the concept of Indigenous Data Sovereignty by using the CARE Principles for Indigenous Data Governance to discuss how research legislation and policy adopted by Indigenous Peoples in the US set expectations around recognizing sovereign relationships, acknowledging rights and interests in data, and enabling Indigenous Peoples' participation in research governance.

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Citation

Garba I, Sterling R, Plevel R, Carson W, Cordova-Marks FM, Cummins J, Curley C, David-Chavez D, Fernandez A, Hiraldo D, Hiratsuka V, Hudson M, Jäger MB, Jennings LL, Martinez A, Yracheta J, Garrison NA and Carroll SR. Indigenous Peoples and research: self-determination in research governance. (2023). Front. Res. Metr. Anal. 8:1272318. doi: 10.3389/frma.2023.1272318

Applying the ‘CARE Principles for Indigenous Data Governance’ to ecology and biodiversity research

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Indigenous Peoples are increasingly being sought out for research partnerships that incorporate Indigenous Knowledges into ecology research. In such research partnerships, it is essential that Indigenous data are cared for ethically and responsibly. Here we outline how the ‘CARE Principles for Indigenous Data Governance’ can sow community ethics into disciplines that are inundated with extractive helicopter research practices, and we provide standardized practices for evolving data and research landscapes.

Citation

Jennings, L., Anderson, T., Martinez, A. et al. Applying the ‘CARE Principles for Indigenous Data Governance’ to ecology and biodiversity research. Nat Ecol Evol (2023). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41559-023-02161-2

Transcripts for all videos are available by request. Please email us: nni@arizona.edu.

IDSov and the silent data revolution: Indigenous Peoples and the decentralized building blocks of web3

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This article explores the technology underpinning the decentralized data revolution and encourages Indigenous Peoples (IPs) to secure their Indigenous Data Sovereignty (IDSov) over the Metaverse and Web3. More specifically, this article will survey blockchain technologies, exploring some disturbing colonial uses and providing an international legal framework that IPs can use to advance their IDSov internationally and domestically. This article will consider the role that cryptocurrencies, smart contracts, decentralized oracles, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), decentralized finance (DeFi), and decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) might play in advancing IDSov as it relates to western conceptualizations of Web3 and the Metaverse. The worldwide web's global data structure is undergoing a seismic shift that will significantly impact IPs. As inherent sovereigns, IPs are uniquely positioned to use and regulate these technologies in manners consistent with their cultural values and international indigenous human rights instruments. However, the march toward Web3 also looms menacingly over IPs. As such, we intend to examine IPs' novel risks and opportunities with Web3 and the Metaverse. We conclude by encouraging IPs to become fluent in the minutia of these technologies and to exert their inherent sovereignty over these nascent technologies in international and domestic arenas by building culturally informed systems to address their particularized needs. Future research should look toward the specific hurdles, and successes IPs are experiencing as they apply the technologies and principles discussed here.

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Citation

Fernandez, Adam and Dillon Dobson. (May 19, 2023). IDSov and the silent data revolution: Indigenous Peoples and the decentralized building blocks of web3. Frontiers in Research Metrics and Analytics. Sec. Scholarly Communication. Volume 8 - 2023. https://doi.org/10.3389/frma.2023.1160566

Indigenous Peoples' Rights in Data: a contribution toward Indigenous Research Sovereignty

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Indigenous Peoples' right to sovereignty forms the foundation for advocacy and actions toward greater Indigenous self-determination and control across a range of domains that impact Indigenous Peoples' communities and cultures. Declarations for sovereignty are rising throughout Indigenous communities and across diverse fields, including Network Sovereignty, Food Sovereignty, Energy Sovereignty, and Data Sovereignty. Indigenous Research Sovereignty draws in the sovereignty discourse of these initiatives to consider their applications to the broader research ecosystem. Our exploration of Indigenous Research Sovereignty, or Indigenous self-determination in the context of research activities, has been focused on the relationship between Indigenous Data Sovereignty and efforts to describe Indigenous Peoples' Rights in data.

Citation

Hudson Maui, Carroll Stephanie Russo, Anderson Jane, Blackwater Darrah, Cordova-Marks Felina M., Cummins Jewel, David-Chavez Dominique, Fernandez Adam, Garba Ibrahim, Hiraldo Danielle, Jäger Mary Beth, Jennings Lydia L., Martinez Andrew, Sterling Rogena, Walker Jennifer D., Rowe Robyn K. Indigenous Peoples' Rights in Data: a contribution toward Indigenous Research Sovereignty. (2023).  Frontiers in Research Metrics and Analytics. 8. DOI=10.3389/frma.2023.1173805  https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/frma.2023.1173805

Extending the CARE Principles from tribal research policies to benefit sharing in genomic research

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Indigenous Peoples have historically been targets of extractive research that has led to little to no benefit. In genomics, such research not only exposes communities to harms and risks of misuse, but also deprives such communities of potential benefits. Tribes in the US have been exercising their sovereignty to limit this extractive practice by adopting laws and policies to govern research on their territories and with their citizens. Federally and state recognized tribes are in the strongest position to assert research oversight.

Other tribes lack the same authority, given that federal and state governments do not recognize their rights to regulate research, resulting in varying levels of oversight by tribes. These governance measures establish collective protections absent from the US federal government’s research oversight infrastructure, while setting expectations regarding benefits to tribes as political collectives.

Using a legal epidemiology approach, the paper discusses findings from a review of Tribal research legislation, policy, and administrative materials from 26 tribes in the US. The discussion specifies issues viewed by tribes as facilitators and barriers to securing benefits from research for their nations and members/citizens, and describes preemptive and mitigating strategies pursued by tribes in response.

These strategies are set within the framing of the CARE Principles for Indigenous Data Governance (Collective Benefit, Authority to Control, Responsibility, Ethics), a set of standards developed to ensure that decisions made about data pertaining to Indigenous communities at the individual and tribal levels are responsive to their values and collective interests. Our findings illustrate gaps to address for benefit sharing and a need to strengthen Responsibility and Ethics in tribal research governance.

Native Nations
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Carroll SR, Plevel R, Jennings LL, Garba I, Sterling R, Cordova-Marks FM, Hiratsuka V, Hudson M and Garrison NA (2022), Extending the CARE Principles from tribal research policies to benefit sharing in genomic research. Front. Genet. 13:1052620. doi: 10.3389/fgene.2022.1052620

Indigenous Data Sovereignty: How Researchers can Empower Data Governance with Lydia Jennings

Producer
National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS)
Year

Indigenous land management practices result in higher species richness, less deforestation, and land degradation than non-Indigenous strategies. Many environmental researchers, data repositories, and data service operations recognize the importance of collaborating with Indigenous nations, supporting their environmental stewardship practices, and aligning land stewardship mechanisms with Indigenous rights. Yet these individuals and organizations do not always know the appropriate processes to achieve these partnerships. Calls for government agencies to collaborate with Indigenous land stewards require an increasing awareness of what Indigenous data are and how to manage these data. Indigenous data sovereignty underscores Indigenous rights and interests and can provide a structure for data practices. In this seminar talk, Dr. Lydia Jennings discusses what constitutes Indigenous data, how to apply an Indigenous data sovereignty framework to environmental research, examples of Indigenous data governance, Tribal Nations’ leading the scientific inquiry process, and how environmental scientists can co-create with Indigenous communities to answer community-driven research questions.

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Citation

National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS). 'Indigenous Data Sovereignty: How Researchers can Empower Data Governance' with Lydia Jennings. May 2021.

Balancing openness with Indigenous data sovereignty: An opportunity to leave no one behind in the journey to sequence all of life

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The field of genomics has benefited greatly from its “openness” approach to data sharing. However, with the increasing volume of sequence information being created and stored and the growing number of international genomics efforts, the equity of openness is under question. The United Nations Convention of Biodiversity aims to develop and adopt a standard policy on access and benefit-sharing for sequence information across signatory parties. This standardization will have profound implications on genomics research, requiring a new definition of open data sharing. The redefinition of openness is not unwarranted, as its limitations have unintentionally introduced barriers of engagement to some, including Indigenous Peoples. This commentary provides an insight into the key challenges of openness faced by the researchers who aspire to protect and conserve global biodiversity, including Indigenous flora and fauna, and presents immediate, practical solutions that, if implemented, will equip the genomics community with both the diversity and inclusivity required to respectfully protect global biodiversity.

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Ann M. Mc Cartney, Jane Anderson, Libby Liggins, Maui L. Hudson, Matthew Z. Anderson, Ben TeAika, Janis Geary, Robert Cook-Deegan, Hardip R. Patel, Adam M. Phillippy. Balancing openness with Indigenous data sovereignty: An opportunity to leave no one behind in the journey to sequence all of life. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Jan 2022, 119 (4) e2115860119; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2115860119

Improving Ethical Practice in Transdisciplinary Research Projects Webinar

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Transdisciplinary research, or research conducted by people from different disciplines and organizations working together to solve a common problem, holds promise for communities and scientists seeking to address complex socio-ecological problems like climate change. However, this collaborative research approach requires thoughtful consideration of ethical concepts to better account for working with individuals, communities and organizations as partners in, rather than subjects of, transdisciplinary research. This webinar will explore principles for improving ethical practice in transdisciplinary research in socio-ecological settings, such as appropriate representation, deference, self-determination and reciprocity. We will discuss opportunities to deepen ethical skills for researchers in all career stages to improve our transdisciplinary research in response to new challenges, contexts and societal needs.

Native Nations
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Wilmer, H., Meadow, A. M., Ferguson, D. B. (2020) Improving Ethical Practice in Transdisciplinary Research Projects Webinar. Northwest Adaptation Science Center. Webinar. https://vimeo.com/user83638479

Expanded Ethical Principles for Research Partnership and Transdisciplinary Natural Resource Management Science

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Natural resource researchers have long recognized the value of working closely with the managers and communities who depend on, steward, and impact ecosystems. These partnerships take various forms, including co-production and transdisciplinary research approaches, which integrate multiple knowledges in the design and implementation of research objectives, questions, methods, and desired outputs or outcomes.

These collaborations raise important methodological and ethical challenges, because partnering with non-scientists can have real-world risks for people and ecosystems. The social sciences and biomedical research studies offer a suite of conceptual tools that enhance the quality, ethical outcomes, and effectiveness of research partnerships. For example, the ethical guidelines and regulations for human subjects research, following the Belmont Principles, help prevent harm and promote respectful treatment of research participants.

However, science–management partnerships require an expanded set of ethical concepts to better capture the challenges of working with individuals, communities, organizations, and their associated ecosystems, as partners, rather than research subjects. We draw from our experiences in collaborative teams, and build upon the existing work of natural resources, environmental health, conservation and ecology, social science, and humanities scholars, to develop an expanded framework for ethical research partnership.

This includes four principles: (1) appropriate representation, (2) self-determination, (3) reciprocity, and (4) deference, and two cross-cutting themes: (1) applications to humans and non-human actors, and (2) acquiring appropriate research skills. This framework is meant to stimulate important conversations about expanding ethics training and skills for researchers in all career-stages to improve partnerships and transdisciplinary natural resources research.

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Wilmer, H., Meadow, A. M., Brymer, A. B., Carroll, S. R., Ferguson, D. B., Garba, I., Greene, C., Owen, G., & Peck, D. E. (2021). Expanded Ethical Principles for Research Partnership and Transdisciplinary Natural Resource Management Science. Environmental Management. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00267-021-01508-4

Policy Brief: Native Nation Rebuilding for Tribal Research and Data Governance

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Indigenous Peoples conducted research long before their interactions with European settlers. Whether through observation or practice, research in a non-western context was woven into Indigenous ways of knowing and being. It continues to inform Indigenous Knowledges of landscapes and natural resources, governance systems, intra- and inter-governmental relationships, and behavior. The outcomes of this research are reflected in how Indigenous Peoples understand who they are today. Research in Indigenous communities has evolved—and not always in positive ways. For decades, noncommunity-member researchers, including non-Indigenous researchers, have studied Indigenous Peoples and communities.

Research practices range from collaborative to exploitative, with research outcomes and outputs often intended for the benefit of users outside a particular Native nation or cultural group. Some researchers honor tribal sovereignty in their research practices and seek tribal government and community guidance on research approvals and processes (or are attempting to pivot in this direction). Others have collected data from Indigenous communities for their personal or research advancement without concern for community desires, collected data without consent from Native nations, and misrepresented how data would be used. Such actions have led to contentious engagements among public institutions, researchers, and Indigenous Peoples.

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Hiraldo, Danielle, Stephanie Russo Carroll, Dominique M. David-Chavez, Mary Beth Jäger, and Miriam Jorgensen. 2020. "Native Nation Rebuilding for Tribal Research and Data Governance." NNI Policy Brief Series. Tucson: Native Nations Institute, University of Arizona.