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29 November 2021

Data Sovereignty for Native Communities

In November, we celebrate Native American Heritage Month, a year dedicated to highlighting the Indigenous community’s history, culture, and traditions.

As we learned at the 2021 CMD-IT/ACM Richard Tapia Celebration of Diversity in Computing Conference’s “Data Sovereignty for Native Communities” session. The list of panelists included: Adam Recvlohe, Andrea Delgado-Olson, Jeff Doctor, Caroline Running Wolf, Michael Running Wolfe, and Ian Her Many Horses.

The presentation included Indigenous technologists with academic, non-profit, and corporate experience, who discussed the risks and possible models to protect Native Data. In an era of Big Data, for applications like AI, what does Data Sovereignty look like for Indigenous knowledge?

“Data from us, these Indigenous communities, and about us and our resources, are valuable assets,” said Caroline Running Wolf, an enrolled member of the Apsáalooke Nation (Crow) in Montana.

“We, the Indigenous communities, need to retain control of our data for a variety of reasons.” 

Watch a clip from one of the panelists at the session.

For more information on the topic and to watch the full Tapia session, you can visit Pathable.