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Historically, Indigenous communities have not benefited from research projects that 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 people. 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 that aligns with their needs and values, and ensure that their data are not exploited.

Bison (bison bison), Grasslands National Park; Saskatchewan, Canada

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.

First Nations Information Governance Centre. April 2014

Barriers and Levers for the Implementation of OCAP™

First Nations Information Governance Centre

The First Nations Principles of OCAP®

Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. 2015

Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls to Action