Global Dialogues: Indigenous Data Sovereignty

Fri February 23rd 2024, 12:00 - 1:30pm
Event Sponsor
Stanford Global Studies Division

Register for the Zoom webinar on Indigenous Data Sovereignty

Indigenous Data Sovereignty (IDS), ‘the right of Indigenous peoples to govern the collection, ownership, and application of data about Indigenous communities, peoples, lands, and resources’ (Rainie et al.), has emerged in the past decade as a ‘double-edged sword’ (Smith 2016). On one hand, it gives scope for development opportunities that reflect Indigenous aspirations; on the other, it cannot easily be disentangled from considerable baggage linked to colonialism and its discrepant experience and knowledge. It has been too easy for researchers and state agencies to digitize and freely publicize Indigenous knowledge in a context of open data, without permission. Indigenous peoples have often been removed from data governance practice. Open data practices have not necessarily taken consideration of Indigenous peoples. How might this situation be addressed? What are the best practices for researchers? How can the debate draw productively on different parts of the world? If much of the debate has been at the level of public policy, what are the implications for heritage curation in museums, for example? The aim of this global dialogue is to consider case studies from different parts of the world, highlighting best practices and mapping out productive approaches.   


Lyndon Ormond-Parker 
Associate Professor, Australian National University

Associate Professor Lyndon Ormond-Parker is an Aboriginal man of Alyawarr descent from the Barkly Tableland region of the Northern Territory. He is an Australian Research Council Research Fellow (IN220100008) with the Centre for Heritage and Museum Studies, Australian National University, and the Principal Research Fellow with the 'Mapping Digital Inclusion and Media Use in Remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities' project with the ARC Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision-Making and Society (CE200100005). He has been involved in advocacy, policy development and research at the local, national, and international level focused on Indigenous communities, cultural heritage, information technology, digital inclusion, materials conservation, and repatriation.

Jelena Porsanger
Museum Manager, The Sámi Museum
Docent in Indigenous Studies, University of Helsinki

Jelena is currently working as a museum manager of The Sámi Museum in Karasjok / Sámiid Vuorká-Dávvirat, under the museum association RiddoDuottarMuseat (Norway). She holds the title of Docent in Indigenous Studies at The University of Helsinki (Finland).

Jelena Porsanger is a Sámi scholar, holds a Doctoral degree in the history of religion and Indigenous research from the University of Tromsø – The Arctic University of Norway, and a degree of Licentiate in Philosophy from the University of Helsinki (Finland). She was Vice-Chancellor of Sámi University of Applied Sciences (Norway) in 2011-2015. One of the most important achievements of the Sámi University during this period was the development of a PhD Program in Sámi Language and Literature, which started in 2016. Jelena worked previously as Director of the Nordic Sami Institute, as senior researcher, and as lecturer at various universities in the Nordic countries. In the period 2007-2011 she was the Chief Editor of a peer-reviewed multidisciplinary research journal, Sámi dieđalaš áigečála, which accepts research articles originally written in the Sámi languages. In 2015-2020 she was the Editorial Board Member of AlterNative, An Indigenous Journal of Indigenous Peoples, SAGE Journals (Aotearoa/New Zealand). She is an editorial Board Member of Dutkansarvvi dieđalaš áigečála, a research journal of The Sámi Language and Culture Research Association Dutkansearvi, with peer-review.

Her research interests include Indigenous methodologies, Indigenous epistemologies, Indigenous religions, source criticism from an Indigenous perspective, repatriation of Sámi cultural heritage, Sámi and Indigenous oral traditions, Sámi and Indigenous traditional knowledge, three-dimensional digitization of Indigenous cultural heritage, Sámi and Indigenous museology.

Special areas of interest: Indigenous research methodologies, digitization of cultural heritage, traditional knowledge, research ethics, community-based dissemination of traditional knowledge, empowerment of Sámi communities, capacity building, development and application of Indigenous approaches in research, use of digital technologies in museums.

Amelia Winger-Bearskin
Associate Professor of AI and the Arts, University of Florida

Amelia Winger-Bearskin is an artist who innovates with artificial intelligence in ways that positively impact our community and the environment. She is a Banks Family Preeminence Endowed Chair and Associate Professor of Artificial Intelligence and the Arts, at the Digital Worlds Institute at the University of Florida. She is the founder of the UF AI Climate Justice Lab and the Talk To Me About Water Collective. She founded Wampum.Codes which is both an award-winning podcast and an ethical framework for software development based on indigenous values of co-creation. was awarded a Mozilla Fellowship embedded at the MIT Co-Creation Studio from 2019-2020 and was featured at the 2021 imagineNative festival. She continued her research in 2021 at Stanford University as their artist and technologist in residence made possible by the Stanford Visiting Artist Fund in Honor of Roberta Bowman Denning (VAF).

In 2022 she was awarded a MacArthur Foundation Award as part of the Sundance AOP Fellowship cohort for her project CLOUD WORLD / SKYWORLD which will be part of the Whitney’s Sunrise/Sunset series in late fall 2022.

In 2019 she was a delegate at the Summit on Fostering Universal Ethics and Compassion for His Holiness, The 14th Dalai Lama, at his World Headquarters in Dharmsala India.The non-profit she founded IDEA New Rochelle, in partnership with the New Rochelle Mayor’s Office, won the 2018 $1 Million Dollar Bloomberg Mayor’s Challenge for their VR/AR Citizen toolkit to help the community co-design their city. In 2018 she was awarded the 100k Alternative Realities Prize for her Virtual Reality Project: Your Hands Are Feet from Engadget and Verizon Media.

Amelia is Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) of the Seneca-Cayuga Nation of Oklahoma, Deer Clan on her mother’s side and her late father was Jewish/Baha’i.


Elspeth Iralu
Visiting Assistant Professor, University of New Mexico

Elspeth Iralu is a visiting assistant professor teaching in the Indigenous planning concentration. She is Angami Naga, from Khonoma village, Nagaland, and grew up in Gallup, New Mexico. Her research and teaching interests include Indigenous geographies and methodologies, visual culture, critical surveillance studies, and planning for decolonial futures. Iralu’s current work examines the spatial surveillance of Indigenous peoples, nations, and territories in the twenty-first century to interrogate how spatial methods of counterinsurgent warfare operate as technologies of territoriality against Indigenous nations. Her writing has appeared in American QuarterlyThe New AmericanistDialogue: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Popular Culture and Pedagogy, and Species in Peril. She has worked on community projects for environment, health, and sovereignty with Indigenous nations in India and the United States.


  • S. C. Rainie et al. (2019), ‘Indigenous data sovereignty’, in T. Davies et al., eds., The State of Open Data: histories and horizons (African Minds).
  • D. E. Smith (2016), ‘Governing data and data for governance: the everyday practice of Indigenous sovereignty’, in T. Kukutai and J. Taylor, eds., Indigenous Data Sovereignty: towards an agenda (ANU Press), 117-35.   

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