By Professor Marcia Langton, Dr Kristen Smith, Dr Vanessa Russ and Antony Sinni, University of Melbourne

There is power in Indigenous data sovereignty and a new project aims to create an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Research Data Commons to empower communities.

Justice and equity for Indigenous people will depend increasingly on achieving Indigenous data sovereignty and Indigenous data governance.

In Australia, this has developed slowly and in diverse ways, with community organisations, data scientists and researchers addressing the issues in local settings.

In 2016, Professor Tahu Kukutai and Emeritus Professor John Taylor from ANU’s Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research asked, “what does data sovereignty mean for indigenous peoples, and how is it being used in their pursuit of self-determination?”.

These were just two of the questions addressed by 183 Indigenous data users, data scientists, researchers and government and community representatives at the Indigenous Data Governance and Sovereignty Roundtable by the Indigenous Data Network (IDN) in Narrm at the University of Melbourne.

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