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Data Management Toolkit @ UNH

This toolkit provides information to help researchers develop data management plans and effectively manage their research data.

Considerations for DMPs

Data Management Plans (DMPs) are important tools for establishing transparency and a shared understanding with your research partners on the kinds of data and metadata that will be collected, how and where the data will be stored, who will have access to the data, whether or not the data will be shared publicly, roles of research partners for the responsible management of data, and questions of ownership and intellectual property rights. When working with Indigenous communities, Indigenous data, and Indigenous knowledge the CARE Principles for Indigenous Data Governance, the First Nations principles of OCAP®, and the Principles of Māori Data Sovereignty can help guide these conversations.

The National Congress on American Indians (NCAI) Policy Research Center

In their response to NIH request for information on their Draft Data Management and Sharing Policy, the NCAI Policy Research Center recommended including:

“All [Data Management] Plans involving research and Scientific Data with American Indian and Alaska Native tribe(s) should include specific information on how the Plan complies with their tribal research codes, documentation of official tribal approval(s) for the Plan, and should describe in detail how the Plan implements tribal requirements and preferences on data management and sharing to ensure that tribal nation(s) and their citizens, lands, and resources are protected, along with how the Plan will implement any tribal restrictions to data sharing.”

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Supplemental Information to the NIH's new Policy for Data Management and Sharing about the Responsible Management and Sharing of American Indian/ Alaska Native Participant Data provides important considerations for all researchers working with American Indian/Alaska Native communities and Tribal Nations.

Government of Canada Tri-Agency

The Tri-Agency Research Data Management Policy states:

"For research conducted by and with First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities, collectives and organizations, DMPs must be co-developed with these communities, collectives and organizations, in accordance with RDM principles or DMP formats that they accept. DMPs in the context of research by and with First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities, collectives and organizations should recognize Indigenous data sovereignty and include options for renegotiation of the DMP."

The CARE Principles for Indigenous Data Governance

#BeFAIRandCAREThe CARE Principles are hosted by the Global Indigenous Data Alliance (GIDA). 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,” 8 November 2018, Gaborone, Botswana.

"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 FAIR principles ( encouraging open and other data movements to consider both people and purpose in their advocacy and pursuits.

Collective Benefit:

Data ecosystems shall be designed and function in ways that enable Indigenous Peoples to derive benefit from the data.

Authority to Control:

Indigenous Peoples’ rights and interests in Indigenous data must be recognised and their authority to control such data be empowered. Indigenous data governance enables Indigenous Peoples and governing bodies to determine how Indigenous Peoples, as well as Indigenous lands, territories, resources, knowledges and geographical indicators, are represented and identified within data


Those working with Indigenous data have a responsibility to share how those data are used to support Indigenous Peoples’ self-determination and collective benefit. Accountability requires meaningful and openly available evidence of these efforts and the benefits accruing to Indigenous Peoples.


Indigenous Peoples’ rights and wellbeing should be the primary concern at all stages of the data life cycle and across the data ecosystem."

The First Nations principles of OCAP®

OCAP LogoOCAP® stands for Ownership, Control, Access, and Possession and is a registered trademark of the First Nations Information Governance Centre (FNIGC).

"OCAP® asserts that First Nations alone have control over data collection processes in their communities, and that they own and control how this information can be stored, interpreted, used, or shared.

Ownership refers to the relationship of First Nations to their cultural knowledge, data, and information. This principle states that a community or group owns information collectively in the same way that an individual owns his or her personal information.

Control affirms that First Nations, their communities, and representative bodies are within their rights in seeking to control over all aspects of research and information management processes that impact them. First Nations control of research can include all stages of a particular research project-from start to finish. The principle extends to the control of resources and review processes, the planning process, management of the information and so on.

Access refers to the fact that First Nations must have access to information and data about themselves and their communities regardless of where it is held. The principle of access also refers to the right of First Nations’ communities and organizations to manage and make decisions regarding access to their collective information. This may be achieved, in practice, through standardized, formal protocols.

Possession While ownership identifies the relationship between a people and their information in principle, possession or stewardship is more concrete: it refers to the physical control of data. Possession is the mechanism by which ownership can be asserted and protected."

Principles of Māori Data Sovereignty

The Māori Data Sovereignty Network defines the following key terms:

Data Sovereignty typically refers to the understanding that data is subject to the laws of the nation within which it is stored.

Indigenous Data Sovereignty perceives data as subject to the laws of the nation from which it is collected.

Māori Data Sovereignty recognises that Māori data should be subject to Māori governance. Māori data sovereignty supports tribal sovereignty and the realisation of Maori and Iwi aspirations.

Image of Principles of Maori Data Sovereignty briefThe Principles of Māori Data Sovereignty "advocates for the realisation of Māori rights and interests in data, and for the ethical use of data to enhance the wellbeing of our people, language and culture."  The six principles are:

  • Authority
  • Relationships
  • Obligations
  • Collective Benefit
  • Reciprocity
  • Guardianship

Click on the image to download a PDF of the full brief.

The Māori Data Audit Tool can help you assess readiness to address the principles in the Te Mana Raraunga Charter.

Indigenous Data Sovereignty Networks