Indigenous Data Sovereignty: Developing a Federal Framework for the Handling and Use of Tribal Data

February 9, 2021
02:00PM - 03:00PM

All Times Eastern

Date: Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Time: 2:00 – 3:00 pm EASTERN

Register for the Webinar

Join the Tribal Self Governance Education Consortium (SGCETC) for a webinar with Dr. Stephanie Russo Carroll, Dr. Desi Rodriguez-Lonebear, and Dr. Randy Akee from the US Indigenous Data Sovereignty Network to discuss Indigenous data sovereignty, the CARE Principles for Indigenous Data Governance, and the role of Tribal governments in developing data sovereignty protocols and procedures. This webinar will provide an opportunity for Tribal leaders and officials to discuss a potential framework and a starting point for identifying common strategies for Indigenous data sovereignty.

Tribal Nations have experienced numerous challenges related to Federal agencies handling and use of Tribal data. For instance, in April 2020, the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Department of the Interior collected data from Tribal Nations and did not properly safeguard the information—resulting in a breach of sensitive Tribal data. In addition, many Tribal leaders believe Treasury inappropriately used a data series acquired from the Indian Housing Block Grant (IHBG) program administered by the Department of Housing and Urban Development to allocate federal funding that is explicitly aimed at combatting the coronavirus.

Indigenous data sovereignty asserts the rights of Tribal Nations and Indigenous Peoples to govern the collection, ownership, and application of their own data. Indigenous data sovereignty derives from Tribes’ inherent right to govern their peoples, lands, and resources. In the United States and internationally, Indigenous data sovereignty has grown in recognition and action over the past ­five years. Defi­ning a strategy for enhancing Indigenous data sovereignty for Tribes is needed to support Tribal rights and interests in data.

SGCETC recommended that the Biden-Harris Administration, through the White House Council on Native American Affairs and in consultation with Tribal Nations, develop a Federal government-wide framework for the collection, storage, and application of data from Tribal governments or data about Tribal governments and their citizens.