CEO Gwen Bridge Consulting Ltd NELSON, British Columbia, Canada
Session Description: All ecologists are working on Indigenous lands. Where and when do ecologists learn about the ethical rights of the land stewards who care for the lands we study with? Indigenous Data Sovereignty (IDS) refers to the rights of Indigenous peoples to control data from and about their communities, lands, air, water, and knowledge systems, articulating both individual and collective rights to data access and to data privacy. IDS offers a counterpoint to dominant discourses in open data, questioning current approaches to data ownership, licensing, and use in ways that draw attention to the power and post-colonial dynamics within many data agendas. In the US, there is increasing recognition of Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) and the scientific insights held within Indigenous communities. However, much of the training in ecology focuses heavily on the theoretical and technical aspects of the discipline and little on the ethical considerations and ethical practice of conducting research. Training about TEK and engaging with Indigenous communities does not teach about IDS and the rights of Indigenous Peoples in the places we collect ecological data or how we steward their data. Furthermore, funding agencies and research institutions’ policies over the ownership of data and research products may conflict with the rights of Indigenous peoples to control data about their people or lands, as asserted by the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. This session will introduce Indigenous Data Sovereignty as it applies to ecological research, provide examples of Indigenous Data governance in practice, and discuss how the National Ecological Observatory Network is actively seeking to incorporate IDS into their data systems, with an opportunity for other data repositories and researchers to learn with us.
This will be a participatory session with introductory presentations about ethical research practices and Indigenous Data Sovereignty, followed by a guided interactive discussion to gauge the range of understanding of data sovereignty in ecology and how they apply to Indigenous Data sovereignty considerations. We aim to understand together: what do people know, what are their priorities, and what are the needs of individual researchers, institutions and organizations to incorporate Indigenous Data Governance Practices into their protocols and educational curriculum.