Indigenous-led processes and partnerships are essential when conducting research with First Nations, Métis and Inuit populations and data. Historically, Indigenous communities have not benefited from research projects which use Indigenous data. When the majority of researchers come from non-Indigenous contexts, research priorities may not reflect the needs of Indigenous communities or may reinforce and perpetuate harmful beliefs that stigmatize Indigenous peoples. Following the study, they may not have access to research results and thus are unable to apply the findings to their own community. 

Indigenous-driven uses of Indigenous data allow communities to prioritize research which is in line with their needs and values, and ensure that their data is not exploited.

Indigenous data and identifiers include: 

  • Registries (e.g., Indian Registry System, Métis Citizenship Registry) 
  • Self-identifiers (e.g., survey data with identifiers)
  • Geographic identifiers (e.g. postal codes or residence codes on reserve)
  • Indigenous-specific datasets (e.g., survey or health service delivery data)
  • Any data which may identify (directly or indirectly) any of the following: (i) First Nations, Métis, or Inuit communities (ii) First Nations, Métis, or Inuit people (iii) Indigenous (or Aboriginal) people or communities.

DASH supports and respects OCAP® (Ownership, Control, Access and Possession) Principles when requesting, accessing and using First Nations data, as set out by the First Nations Information Governance Centre (FNIGC).

Resources on Indigenous Data Sovereignty 

Barriers and Levers for the Implementation of OCAP™, First Nations Information Governance Centre. April 2014

Contextualizing Indigenous Data Sovereignty, Animikii. June 7, 2019

Data’s Role in Indigenous Data Sovereignty, Animikii. July 23, 2019

Empowering Indigeneity Through Data Sovereignty, Animikii. June 17, 2019

The First Nations Principles of OCAP®, First Nations Information Governance Centre

Ownership, Control, Access and Possession (OCAP™): The Path to First Nations Information Governance, First Nations Information Governance Centre. May 23, 2014

Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls to Action, Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. 2015 

United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, United Nations. 2007