The Maiam nayri Wingara Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Data Sovereignty Collective was formed in early 2017 in order to develop Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander data sovereignty principles and to identify Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander strategic data assets. The intent of Maiam nayri Wingara is to empower Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders to engage in Indigenous Data Sovereignty and to advocate for rights (informed by UNDRIP) using data to inform development.
Indigenous Data Sovereignty is a global movement concerned with the right of Indigenous peoples to govern the creation, collection, ownership and application of their data. Indigenous Data Sovereignty in Australia is derived from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples inherent right to govern our peoples, Country (including lands, waters and sky) and resources as outlined in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), for which Australia has declared its support.
Data is a cultural, strategic, and economic asset for Indigenous peoples. Indigenous Australians have always been active in what is now known as ‘data’. Yet in modern times we have been isolated from the language, control and production of data at community, state and national levels. This has resulted in data that are overly focused on Indigenous peoples as the problem. Existing data and data infrastructure does not recognise or privilege our knowledge’s and worldviews nor meet our current and future needs.
The aim of the Maiam nayri Wingara Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Data Sovereignty Collective is to progress Indigenous Data Sovereignty and Indigenous Data Governance through developing shared understandings and initiating an Australian set of Indigenous Data Governance protocols.