HOME 5 Getting Started 5 First Steps: Visioning and Mapping a Path Forward


SULINGITUK GOVERNMENT: The consequences of not starting with a clear vision

Fictional Case Study

Sulingituk Government has started a community well-being planning process, and the citizens are saying that knowledge of traditional culture and skills is a very important part of well-being. This includes knowing how to skin and clean animals/fish/birds properly, how to navigate on the land, how to find and use traditional medicines, and how to make shelters.

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Community Planning

Community participation in the development of a clear vision and objectives for the future direction of your government is critical before developing data governance and management processes. When planning is carried out consistently by governments and reporting is aligned with government plans, transparency and accountability are improved.  Data governance and management are done in the service of helping governments move towards their vision and objectives by measuring what matters to the community. The vision and objectives guide what data needs to be collected and why.

The vision and objectives could be developed through any kind of planning process with community members, such as drafting a comprehensive community plan or a strategic plan. What matters is that the community defines a) what is important to them, and b) where they want to go. Once a community knows where they want to go, data can help guide decisions to get there.

This Toolkit does not explore community planning. See the following resources to help support you in this process:

The Indigenous Community Development National Strategy  (ICDNS) is a jointly-developed approach to building and investing in strong, effective, and sustainable Indigenous governments and services. ISC and CIRNAC are working with Indigenous Advisors from across the country to implement the national Strategy. As the Strategy is implemented in each province and territory, a regional Working Group and Implementation Work Plan will be developed. The Strategy will provide support to community planning initiatives. Over the next phase of implementation, training for entry-level Community Planning Facilitators will be piloted. A continuum of capacity development training options will be developed to provide on-going learning and networking opportunities for Community Planning Facilitators.

Creating a Vision, Principles, and Objectives for Data Governance and Management

Your SGIG probably already has some kind of vision or goal statement about hopes for the future, including what “well-being” looks like for the community and its people. Good data governance and management systems are a key tool in helping you work towards that future. It’s important that you also have a vision, principles, and objectives specifically for data governance and management:
  • Vision: What you want your data governance and management system to achieve for you
  • Principles: Values that guide the direction of your data work
  • Objectives: Specific actions to be taken to achieve the vision

This is a crucial step. The vision, principles, and objectives will be the foundation for all data governance and management work. They provide direction to your government’s staff. This is key to developing a culture within your government that values data as a key part of self-determination. Strong direction from the leadership of your government will ensure that processes carry on even when there are changes in staff.

When it comes to developing a vision, principles, and objectives, process is as important as the product. The visioning process is an opportunity to get buy-in from all partners by bringing them together to agree on what you are doing and why.

The downloadable resource document “Creating a Vision, Principles, and Objectives for Data Governance and Management” outlines the general process for developing these components.

Mapping a Path Forward

This graphic indicates the pathway that this Toolkit will guide you through. Note that this is not a linear path. Developing strong data governance and management is an iterative process, meaning that you will be consistently evaluating and improving how you do things.  Click the graphic to see the full-sized, printable image.

The webinar below is a presentation by Gwen Phillips, (Ktunaxa Nation, BC First Nations Data Governance Initiative Lead) on community-driven, Nation-based planning and data governance. For more webinars covering content in this toolkit click here.

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