Indigenous data sovereignty refers to the principle that Indigenous peoples and communities should be responsible for the stewardship and control of data created by or about themselves. Article 31 of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples states that:
1. Indigenous peoples have the right to maintain, control, protect and develop their cultural heritage, traditional knowledge and traditional cultural expressions, as well as the manifestations of their sciences, technologies and cultures, including human and genetic resources, seeds, medicines, knowledge of the properties of fauna and flora, oral traditions, literatures, designs, sports and traditional games and visual and performing arts. They also have the right to maintain, control, protect and develop their intellectual property over such cultural heritage, traditional knowledge, and traditional cultural expressions.
Ethical use of Indigenous data includes an evaluation of the methods used to collect, manage, and disseminate the data and the involvement of Indigenous peoples and communities in those processes. For more information about Indigenous data sovereignty, see the First Nations Information Governance Centre and the OCAP (ownership, control, access, possession) principles.