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Welcome to the Data Governance and Management Toolkit for Self-Governing Indigenous Governments!

This Toolkit supports Indigenous Governments’ efforts around data sovereignty, and their ability to use and manage data (including socioeconomic data) to improve life for their peoples, in ways that reflect their cultural traditions. Indigenous peoples have always been stewards of their own knowledge systems. These knowledge systems inform every part of people’s lives, including how to effectively run communities, and to care for people’s health, well-being, and growth. Passed on orally, these knowledge systems are rooted in a deep cultural foundation that shapes Indigenous peoples’ relationship with each other, the natural world, and the spiritual world. Today, these long-standing knowledge systems exist alongside more recent approaches to collecting and managing data in the service of community well-being.

How can Indigenous governments use and manage socioeconomic data in ways that reflect cultural traditions and improve life and well-being for their citizens/beneficiaries/members[1]? This Toolkit provides some answers to that question.

This Toolkit has been created by and focuses on Self-Governing Indigenous Governments (SGIGs). While some of the content is specific to this context, much of it will be useful for other Indigenous governments and organizations as well.

What This Toolkit Is and Is Not Intended to Do

This Toolkit IS intended to:

  • Support your government’s data sovereignty.
  • Support your government to acquire and manage data in support of community objectives and priorities for well-being.
  • Assist your government in making evidence-informed decisions.
  • Support your government in reporting to citizens.
  • Strengthen your government’s capacity to track important socioeconomic changes.
  • Strengthen the rationale for long-term funding to support your government’s social well-being initiatives.
  • Help your government to make best use of existing data sources.

This Toolkit is NOT intended to:

  • Define Indigenous communities’ perspectives on well-being or socioeconomic success – it is up to each Indigenous Government to define their own vision, goals, and principles to guide them.
  • Provide your government with a list of IT system vendors.
  • Focus on areas of data governance and management outside of socioeconomic data (e.g. geographic data on natural resource development).
  • Be a substitute for hiring or contracting experts to support your government’s data needs.


[1] We use the term “citizen” throughout this Toolkit; however, not all SGIGs use this term. Some SGIGs use the term “beneficiary” or “member”.

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