Research Brief

December 10, 2021

Open Smart City Initiatives as Tools for Indigenous Data Sovereignty

Groupe Firelight et Nord Ouvert et Evergreen

This brief considers key policy components that any Open Smart Community initiatives would need to incorporate and implement into infrastructure design and procedures to protect Indigenous data sovereignty (IDS).

The Open Data Charter states: “Open data is digital data that is made available with the technical and legal characteristics necessary for it to be freely used, reused, and redistributed by anyone, anytime, anywhere” (Open Data Charter, n.d.). However, the Open Data Charter did not involve Indigenous peoples or perspectives when it was developed, and so the goals of universal open data access are in direct conflict with the rights of Indigenous people to govern and steward their own data (Rainie et al., 2019).

While Open Smart Community initiatives call for all sectors and citizens to contribute and mobilize such data to inform transparent decision making, IDS challenges these i...

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