Health and Social Services

Indigenous Peoples' Rights in Data: a contribution toward Indigenous Research Sovereignty

Year

Indigenous Peoples' right to sovereignty forms the foundation for advocacy and actions toward greater Indigenous self-determination and control across a range of domains that impact Indigenous Peoples' communities and cultures. Declarations for sovereignty are rising throughout Indigenous communities and across diverse fields, including Network Sovereignty, Food Sovereignty, Energy Sovereignty, and Data Sovereignty. Indigenous Research Sovereignty draws in the sovereignty discourse of these initiatives to consider their applications to the broader research ecosystem. Our exploration of Indigenous Research Sovereignty, or Indigenous self-determination in the context of research activities, has been focused on the relationship between Indigenous Data Sovereignty and efforts to describe Indigenous Peoples' Rights in data.

Citation

Hudson Maui, Carroll Stephanie Russo, Anderson Jane, Blackwater Darrah, Cordova-Marks Felina M., Cummins Jewel, David-Chavez Dominique, Fernandez Adam, Garba Ibrahim, Hiraldo Danielle, Jäger Mary Beth, Jennings Lydia L., Martinez Andrew, Sterling Rogena, Walker Jennifer D., Rowe Robyn K. Indigenous Peoples' Rights in Data: a contribution toward Indigenous Research Sovereignty. (2023).  Frontiers in Research Metrics and Analytics. 8. DOI=10.3389/frma.2023.1173805  https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/frma.2023.1173805

New reporting project focuses on Indigenous food sovereignty in the Columbia River Basin

Producer
Oregon Public Broadcasting
Year

There’s no official definition for the term “food sovereignty,” but the Indian Affairs Bureau describes it as “the ability of communities to determine the quantity and quality of the food that they consume by controlling how their food is produced and distributed.”

Portland-based news outlet Underscore recently tackled the topic in a new series. The Food Sovereignty Project features stories of Indigenous communities rebuilding food systems, reclaiming traditional foods and practices and preserving that knowledge for future generations.

Project co-director Nicole Charley joins us to talk more about the series, along with freelance writer Leah Altman, who contributed two stories to the project.

Image: Farmland on Sauvie Island in early summer (Matvyei/English Wikipedia)

Transcript is available at the resource link.

Balancing openness with Indigenous data sovereignty: An opportunity to leave no one behind in the journey to sequence all of life

Year

The field of genomics has benefited greatly from its “openness” approach to data sharing. However, with the increasing volume of sequence information being created and stored and the growing number of international genomics efforts, the equity of openness is under question. The United Nations Convention of Biodiversity aims to develop and adopt a standard policy on access and benefit-sharing for sequence information across signatory parties. This standardization will have profound implications on genomics research, requiring a new definition of open data sharing. The redefinition of openness is not unwarranted, as its limitations have unintentionally introduced barriers of engagement to some, including Indigenous Peoples. This commentary provides an insight into the key challenges of openness faced by the researchers who aspire to protect and conserve global biodiversity, including Indigenous flora and fauna, and presents immediate, practical solutions that, if implemented, will equip the genomics community with both the diversity and inclusivity required to respectfully protect global biodiversity.

Resource Type
Citation
Ann M. Mc Cartney, Jane Anderson, Libby Liggins, Maui L. Hudson, Matthew Z. Anderson, Ben TeAika, Janis Geary, Robert Cook-Deegan, Hardip R. Patel, Adam M. Phillippy. Balancing openness with Indigenous data sovereignty: An opportunity to leave no one behind in the journey to sequence all of life. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Jan 2022, 119 (4) e2115860119; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2115860119

The SEEDS of Indigenous population health data linkage

Year

Globally, the ways that Indigenous data are collected, used, stored, shared, and analyzed are advancing through Indigenous data governance movements. However, these discussions do not always include the increasingly sensitive nature of linking Indigenous population health (IPH) data. During the International Population Data Linkage Network Conference in September of 2018, Indigenous people from three countries (Canada, New Zealand, and the United States) gathered and set the tone for discussions around Indigenous-driven IPH data linkage.

Resource Type
Citation

Rowe, R., Carroll, S. R. ., Healy, C., Rodriguez-Lonebear, D. and Walker, J. D. (2021) “The SEEDS of Indigenous Population Health Data Linkage”, International Journal of Population Data Science, 6(1). doi: 10.23889/ijpds.v6i1.1417.

COVID-19 and Indigenous Peoples: Impact of and Response to the Pandemic

Year

In a two-volume, special edition of the American Indian Culture and Research Journal—volume 44, issues 2 and 3—we examine COVID-19’s unique implications for Indigenous Peoples, nations, and communities. We organized these special issues because the COVID-19 pandemic has particularly adversely affected Indigenous Peoples within the United States. In February 2021, the United States has the highest number of COVID-19 cases of any country in the world—nearly 28 million, more than twice that of the second-highest country, India, which has 11 million cases. Within the United States, COVID-19 differs substantially across demographic groups and communities. African Americans, Hispanics, and American Indians have experi-enced substantially higher levels of COVID-19 infection and death. American Indians, in particular, are quite vulnerable to COVID-19; death rates have been 1.5 times those for non-Hispanic whites, while infection rates are 3.5 times those for non-Hispanic whites.

The impact of COVID-19 on Indigenous Peoples residing in other countries differs according to the overall national strategy for dealing with the pandemic. In Australia and New Zealand, where COVID-19 strategies have been particularly stringent, the impact has not been as severe as in the United States; however, there is still some evidence that Indigenous Peoples are more likely to be affected. We have less evidence for other parts of the world, especially in South and Central America. In Canada, at least at the beginning of the pandemic, the impacts on First Nations has been less dire than compared to the general Canadian population; however, in recent months, there have been increased case rates on reserves in the western Canadian provinces.

The structural racism of colonialism is the driver of myriad negative outcomes for Indigenous Peoples, and the effects of COVID-19 are no exception. The articles in this first special issue, AICRJ 44.2, take a granular and intersectional look at the impact of the pandemic, the resilience of Indigenous communities, and the relevance of self-determination in public responses. These articles document specific programs and methods to combat and cope with COVID-19 effects in Indigenous communities and nations.

Resource Type
Citation

Carroll, Stephanie; Randall Akee, Chandra Ford, eds. COVID-19 and Indigenous Peoples: Impact of and Response to the Pandemic. (2020). American Indian Culture and Research Journal. Vol. 44, No. 2. American Indian Studies Center, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA.

Case Report: Indigenous Sovereignty in a Pandemic: Tribal Codes in the United States as Preparedness

Year

Indigenous Peoples globally and in the United States have combatted and continue to face disease, genocide, and erasure, often the systemic result of settler colonial policies that seek to eradicate Indigenous communities. Many Native nations in the United States have asserted their inherent sovereign authority to protect their citizens by passing tribal public health and emergency codes to support their public health infrastructures. While the current COVID-19 pandemic affects everyone, marginalized and Indigenous communities in the United States experience disproportionate burdens of COVID-19 morbidity and mortality as well as socioeconomic and environmental impacts. In this brief research report, we examine 41 publicly available tribal public health and emergency preparedness codes to gain a better understanding of the institutional public health capacity that exists during this time. Of the codes collected, only nine mention any data sharing provisions with local, state, and federal officials while 21 reference communicable diseases. The existence of these public health institutions is not directly tied to the outcomes in the current pandemic; however, it is plausible that having such codes in place makes responding to public health crises now and in the future less reactionary and more proactive in meeting community needs. These tribal institutions advance the public health outcomes that we all want to see in our communities.

Resource Type
Citation

Hiraldo D, James K and Carroll SR (2021) Case Report: Indigenous Sovereignty in a Pandemic: Tribal Codes in the United States as Preparedness. Frontiers in Sociology. 6:617995. doi: 10.3389/fsoc.2021.617995

 

Interview with Dr. Stephanie Carroll about New Research on COVID-19 Spread in Indian Country

Producer
Native Nations Institute
Year

Listen to public health researcher Stephanie Carroll, co-author of “American Indian Reservations and COVID-19: Correlates of Early Infection Rates in the Pandemic.” Hear about this new research showing which factors, like household plumbing and language barriers, correlate with a higher spread of the virus, and policy recommendations to address these factors.

Native Nations
Resource Type
Citation

Native Nations Institute. "Interview with Dr. Stephanie Carroll about New Research on COVID-19 Spread in Indian Country." May 1, 2020. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m26M9O_KUYE, accessed July 25, 2023)

Data Sources to Assess Tribal Climate and Health Impacts

Author
Year

One of the most time consuming and difficult aspects of conducting climate change and health vulnerability assessments is finding data to assess.

Before tracking down data, you’ll first need to identify the most meaningful and measurable indicators to help you determine the severity and likelihood of potential climate exposures and impacts. Indicators include:

  • Exposure indicators (e.g. Annual Heat Waves)
  • Impact indicators (e.g. Hospitalizations for Heat-related Illness)
  • Population sensitivity indicators (e.g. Uninsured Residents)
  • Adaptive Capacity Indicators (e.g. Households with Air-Conditioning)

Once you know what indicators will be most useful, you’ll need to track down the most credible sources of data for those indicators. You’ll be looking for data that is as location- specific as possible and allows you to evaluate historical, baseline (current), and projected (future) trends. Ideally this data will come in a tool that aggregates and filters the data in useful ways and displays the data visually and spatially in charts and maps. While some data may have to provided internally by the tribe (e.g. Well water levels or Households displaced), below are some of the best aggregated data sources we have come across that allow you to look at local level data.

Resource Type
Citation

Hacker, Angie. "Data Sources to Assess Tribal Climate and Health Impacts." Tribal Climate Health Project. April 11, 2019. Retrieved from: http://tribalclimatehealth.org/data-sources-for-tribal-climate-and-health-impacts/, accessed on April 3, 2023)

Indigenized Communication During COVID-19

Producer
Native Governance Center
Year

During times of crisis, the messages we send to our stakeholders matter more than ever. Tribal governments and Native organizations are on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic and are making important decisions to protect the health and safety of their people. 

As Indigenous people, we believe that our methods and modes of communication should reflect our values. We’ve put together a list of some of the values that guide our approach to nation building and corresponding tips for Indigenized communication during COVID-19. We designed these tips first and foremost for Tribal leaders; we hope that others working to communicate thoughtfully about COVID-19 will find them useful as well. 

The COVID-19 pandemic presents a challenge for all of us. While the situation has already tested our strength and resiliency, it’s also a major opportunity for our communities. We have the chance to come together and build the Indigenized future we want to see. The strategies we use to communicate about our goals and visions during this time are just the beginning.

Native Nations
Resource Type
Citation

Native Governance Center. 2020. "Indigenized Communication During COVID-19." Webinar. (https://nativegov.org/resources/indigenized-communication-during-covid-19/, accessed on July 24, 2023)

Harvard Project: COVID-19 Resources for Indian Country Toolbox

Year

As the country responds to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the task before tribal nations is complicated by many unknowns. The Harvard Project recognizes the challenges you're up against and we want to help. We are not experts in the health consequences of the pandemic, but we are monitoring tribal governments' response to the crisis. Across Indian Country, we are witnessing tribal leaders and national Native organizations taking action to protect and position Native nations to see a better tomorrow. These examples and many more make up the contents of this COVID-19 Resources for Indian Country toolbox. We've pulled together resources that demonstrate ways to build governance capacity, illustrate best practices by tribes, provide trusted information about the virus itself, and supply tribal health ordinances intended to meet your immediate needs. Native nation building begins with strong governance, and we hope the examples in this toolbox spark ideas for action that strengthens your community.

Native Nations
Resource Type
Citation

The Harvard Kennedy School Project on Indigenous Governance and Development. "COVID-19 Resources for Indian Country." November 2021. Online Toolkit. (https://sites.google.com/g.harvard.edu/covid-19-resources/..., accessed May 31, 2023.)