KEY PRINCIPLES

The Maiam nayri Wingara Indigneous Data Sovereignty Collective and the Australian Indigenous Governance Institute held an Indigenous Data Sovereignty Summit in Canberra on 20th June 2018. One of the key aims of the Indigenous Data Sovereignty Summit was to progress Indigenous Data Sovereignty and Indigenous Data Governance through developing shared understandings and initiating an Australian set of Indigenous Data Governance protocols and principles. A communique which outlines the delegates view on Indigenous Data Sovereignty and Indigenous Data Governance was developed.  Enacting Indigenous Data Governance requires Indigenous leaders, practitioners and community members with the skills and infrastructure to advocate and participate across all sectors and jurisdictions. Indigenous communities retain the right to decide which sets of data require active governance and maintain the right to not participate in data processes inconsistent with the principles asserted in this Communique.

All Delegates who attended the summit endorsed the following foundational statements:

  • In Australia, ‘Indigenous Data’ refers to information or knowledge, in any format or medium, which is about and may affect Indigenous peoples both collectively and individually.
  • ‘Indigenous Data Sovereignty’ refers to the right of Indigenous people to exercise ownership over Indigenous Data. Ownership of data can be expressed through the creation, collection, access, analysis, interpretation, management, dissemination and reuse of Indigenous Data.
  • ‘Indigenous Data Governance’ refers to the right of Indigenous peoples to autonomously decide what, how and why Indigenous Data are collected, accessed and used. It ensures that data on or about Indigenous peoples reflects our priorities, values, cultures, worldviews and diversity.

Exercising Indigenous Data Governance enables Indigenous peoples, our representative and governing bodies to accurately reflect our stories. It provides the necessary tools to identify what works, what does not and why. Effective Indigenous Data Governance empowers our peoples to make the best decisions to support our communities and First Nations in the ways that meet our development needs and aspirations.

The Summit delegates asserted that in Australia, Indigenous peoples have the right to:

  • Exercise control of the data ecosystem including creation, development, stewardship, analysis, dissemination and infrastructure.
  • Data that is contextual and disaggregated (available and accessible at individual, community and First Nations levels).
  • Data that is relevant and empowers sustainable self-determination and effective self-governance.
  • Data structures that are accountable to Indigenous peoples and First Nations.
  • Data that is protective and respects our individual and collective interests.

Enacting Indigenous Data Governance requires Indigenous leaders, practitioners and community members with the skills and infrastructure to advocate and participate across all sectors and jurisdictions. Indigenous communities retain the right to decide which sets of data require active governance and maintain the right to not participate in data processes inconsistent with the principles asserted in this Communique.