Qanuinngitsiarutiksait 3: Developing mechanisms to ascertain Inuit data sovereignty in Manitoba

Lavoie, Josée G | $250,000

Manitoba University of Manitoba 2022 CIHR Operating Grant

Inuit have long been underrepresented/invisible in the “data world”. Despite decades of data being collected, Indigenous peoples continue to experience considerable inequities. This has led Indigenous nations to call for data sovereignty, which can be defined as “managing information in a way that is consistent with the laws, practices and customs of the nation-state in which it is located”. Our overarching goal is to strengthen MIA’s ability to engage and respond to pandemics, by expanding its data sovereignty capacity. This proposal is a first step towards the development of an Inuit-centric, state-of-the-art data sovereignty infrastructure built to support MIA’s role as an advocate and service delivery organization serving the needs of Inuit. This project will, 1.Develop Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit-informed governance and management policies to ensure Inuit data sovereignty; 2.Create and implement a respondent driven survey mapping where Manitoba Inuit reside, their circumstances and their needs; 3.Survey Manitoba Inuit to document the impact of COVID-19; and 4.Create a data infrastructure to expand MIA’s ability to document, advocate for and improve its COVID‑19 and other work, and to support MIA’s advocacy with federal, provincial and territorial governments. Our project will result in a sustainable Manitoba-led, MIA-based Inuit infrastructure that can be mobilized quickly to support informed decision-making on emerging issues (pandemics), and document needs for program delivery and advocacy. Our approach aligns with Indigenous self-determination and Inuit’ aspiration for data sovereignty. Our work will be grounded in discussions (Integrated Knowledge Translation adapted to reflect Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit) with feedback provided by the Isumataiit Sivuliuqtii (Inuit Elders).

With funding from the Government of Canada

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