Advancing Indigenous data sovereignty


fair bannerIn September 2019, three international efforts were launched to advance Indigenous Peoples’ rights and interests in their data: The Oñati Indigenous Data Sovereignty Communique, the Establishment of the Global Indigenous Data Alliance (GIDA), and the CARE Principles of Indigenous Data Governance. Building on the rights frameworks recognized in the UN Declaration on Indigenous Peoples, these principles summarize an approach for ethical data management led by Indigenous communities. It is the first international effort led by Indigenous peoples to formulate data governance principles.

The CARE Principles for Indigenous Data Governance are people and purpose-oriented, reflecting the crucial role of data in advancing Indigenous innovation and self-determination. These principles complement the existing 2016 FAIR (findable, accessible, interoperable, reusable) principles, which primarily focus on ways of facilitating increased data sharing among entities, but ignores power differentials and historical contexts. In this regard CARE considers both people and purpose in their advocacy and pursuits.

The CARE Principles for Indigenous Data Governance were drafted at the International Data Week and Research Data Alliance Plenary co-hosted event “Indigenous Data Sovereignty Principles for the Governance of Indigenous Data Workshop,” November 8, 2018, Gaborone, Botswana.

The CARE principles


Collective Benefit

  • For inclusive development and innovation
  • For improved governance and citizen engagement
  • For equitable outcomes

Authority to Control

  • Recognizing rights and interests
  • Data for governance
  • Governance of data


  • For positive relationships
  • For expanding capability and capacity
  • For indigenous languages and worldviews


  • For minimizing harm and maximizing benefit
  • For justice
  • For future use

For more information and to download a short and long version of the CARE principles visit: