Tribal Data Sovereignty

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Tribal Data Sovereignty is the principal that Tribal Nations have the inherent right to control their own data. It gives Tribal Nations the power to decide how their data is collected and used, as well as who should have access to it. Data sovereignty is a way for Tribes to reclaim control of their data from governments or other structures that may be using it for their own purposes. It is a form of self-determination and gives Tribes the ability to protect their cultural heritage, maintain group rights and resources, and make sure their data is used in a way that is respectful of their traditions and worldview. Strengthening Tribal Data Sovereignty is essential to ensure that Tribal Nations have control over their data and have access to the resources they need to protect their sovereignty and self-determination. 

The core tenets of Tribal Data Sovereignty include: 

  1. Acknowledge the sovereignty of Tribal Nations and the right to self-determination over their data. 
  2. Respect the Tribal Nation’s ownership of their data and honor their choice to share or not. 
  3. Ensure  Tribal  Nations  have  control  over  the  collection,  management,  use  and sharing of their data. 
  4. Honor Tribal Nations’ right to determine how to use their data for their goals and benefit. 
  5. Provide Tribally-controlled resources for data collection, storage, processing, and analysis. 
  6. Create an equitable environment for data governance and sharing with external parties. 
  7. Promote Tribal data exchange through secure and reliable technology systems. 
  8. Provide equitable access to resources and tools that enable data-driven decision making. 
  9. Make data usable and meaningful, tailoring it to the needs of the Tribal community. Promote proactive data governance that facilitates best data practices. 


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