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Decolonizing Education to meet the Demands of Climate Change

This guide is for the use of instructors and students in the reACT Decolonizing Education Experiential Learning Program funded by the 2022-2023 TLTC Curriculum Grants. Specifically: ARCH460; ARCH478; ARCH601; ARCH678; CHBE473; ENCH648K; ENEE476; ENST415;


The United States Indigenous Data Sovereignty Network (USIDSN) indigenous data sovereignty is the right of a nation to govern the collection, ownership, and application of its own data. USIDSN's primary function is to provide research information and policy advocacy to safeguard the rights and promote the interests of US-based Indigenous nations and peoples (American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians) and peoples in relation to data.

Liew, C., et al. (2021) Digitized indigenous knowledge collections: Impact on cultural knowledge transmission, social connections, and cultural identity. JASIST, Volume72, Issue 12,December 2021, Pages 1575-1592.  Digitized indigenous knowledge collections (D-IKC) brought about many benefits, including the surfacing of otherwise hidden or inaccessible cultural heritage. Concerns around digital access, digital competency, and responsiveness to cultural values need to be thoughtfully addressed nevertheless. Use of D-IKC had impact not only at an individual level but also at a social-community level. Several traditional cultural values related to D-IKC use that are not embodied in existing value-impact frameworks are highlighted. This research also found that the intersection and interactions among individual needs, cultural expectations, and norms and affordances around the digital information environments concerned were nuanced and multifaceted. These facets must be incorporated into the stewardship of knowledge collections. We also observed “digital knowledge sharing in the wild”—knowledge transmission that transpired and in some cases led to creation of knowledge resources that materialized outside the bounds of the originating repositories and institutions. Further studies into such self-organized knowledge transmission/sharing phenomena can lead to valuable insights to inform and shape the curation and design of D-IKC.

Duarte, M. (2020) "Of Course, Data Can Never Fully Represent Reality": Assessing the Relationship between "Indigenous Data" and "Indigenous Knowledge," "Traditional Ecological Knowledge," and "Traditional Knowledge". Hum Biol. 2020 Jul 9;91(3):163-178. Multiple terms describe Indigenous peoples' creative expressions, including "Indigenous knowledge" (IK), "traditional ecological knowledge" (TEK), "traditional knowledge" (TK), and increasingly, "Indigenous data" (ID). Variation in terms contributes to disciplinary divides, challenges in organizing and finding prior studies about Indigenous peoples' creative expressions, and intellectually divergent chains of reference. The authors applied a decolonial, digital, feminist, ethics-of-care approach to citation analysis of records about Indigenous peoples' knowledge and data, including network analyses of author-generated keywords and research areas, and content analysis of peer-reviewed studies about ID. Results reveal ambiguous uses of the term "Indigenous data"; the influence of ecology and environmental studies in research areas and topics associated with IK, TEK, and TK; and the influence of public administration and governance studies in research areas and topics associated with ID studies. Researchers of ID would benefit from applying a more nuanced and robust vocabulary, one informed by studies of IK, TEK, and TK. Researchers of TEK and TK would benefit from the more people-centered approaches of IK. Researchers and systems designers who work with data sets can practice relational accountability by centering the Indigenous peoples from whom observations are sourced, combining narrative methodologies with computational methods to sustain the holism favored by Indigenous science and the relationality of Indigenous peoples.

Carroll, S. (2020). The care principles for indigenous data governanceData Science Journal19.  Concerns about secondary use of data and limited opportunities for benefit-sharing have focused attention on the tension that Indigenous communities feel between (1) protecting Indigenous rights and interests in Indigenous data (including traditional knowledges) and (2) supporting open data, machine learning, broad data sharing, and big data initiatives. The International Indigenous Data Sovereignty Interest Group (within the Research Data Alliance) is a network of nation-state based Indigenous data sovereignty networks and individuals that developed the ‘CARE Principles for Indigenous Data Governance’ (Collective Benefit, Authority to Control, Responsibility, and Ethics) in consultation with Indigenous Peoples, scholars, non-profit organizations, and governments.