Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences

Indigenous Knowledge at International Data Week

Indigenous Knowledge at International Data Week

ELOKA takes part in the first ever International Data Week

Welcome to the first ever International Data Week! This event, which runs September 11-17, brings together data scientists, researchers and policy makers in exploring how to take advantage of the data revolution and use all that information to benefit society.

This year, IDW is taking place right down the road from CU Boulder, in Denver, Colorado. That makes for an easy commute for the scientists and researchers of the Exchange for Local Observations and Knowledge of the Arctic (ELOKA). They’re hosted at the National Snow and Ice Data Center, which is part of CIRES, and they’ll be participating extensively in IDW.

ELOKA’s goal is to work in partnership with Indigenous communities to facilitate the exchange and stewardship of documented Indigenous Knowledge of the Arctic. They’re involved in several events over the course of the week; a few are listed below. You can also look for #IKatIDW (Indigenous Knowledge at International Data Week) on Twitter and Facebook to learn more about ELOKA’s involvement!


Session: "Linking Local and Indigenous Communities with Researchers for Improving Access and Discovery of Ethically Open Data and Knowledge"

Social scientists and researchers in many other fields are realizing the value and importance of closer engagement with the people whose lands and lives they are studying. In this session, we invite presentations from researchers, community members, data managers, policy makers, and other interested stakeholders to share their experiences and goals with respect to improved stewardship of and access to data and information necessary for better decision making and improved living in local communities.  

Talk: "Best Practice in Managing Indigenous Knowledge" (Heidi McCann)

Good data management is essential for research of all types to ensure the sustainability, sharing, and preservation of the research results and data. Data Centers skilled in data management and preservation with policies that articulate professional guidelines regarding the care of objects or electronic data it manages and archives are imperative. This holds especially true with documentation of Indigenous Knowledge, which results in many diverse formats, typologies and ontologies, and often deals with highly sensitive and privileged matters raising privacy, confidentiality and intellectual property concerns. This talk will describe best practices in stewarding and managing Indigenous Knowledge-related data and data types.


At the heart of the week, a day-long International Data Forum, with the theme “Data for the Public Good: Responsibilities, Opportunities and Dangers in a Data Aware Society,” will debate potential data-contingent transformations in civil society, government, health, education, and science. This will include a panel discussion partly supported by ELOKA.

Panel Discussion: "Responsible Openness" (Christopher Horsethief and others)

An active discussion focusing on how responsible consideration of privacy and confidentiality; safety and security; intellectual property and legal constraints can promote open data sharing.


Session: "Indigenous Data and Information Sovereignty: Making Open Data Work for Indigenous Peoples"

This session will provide a forum and space for advancing discussion about, and action on, Indigenous data and information within the open data movement, facilitate dialogue on the context of open data for Indigenous peoples and communities, and support the exchange of ideas regarding ethical considerations and responsibilities when considering open data for Indigenous peoples and communities.​


Talk: "On the Ethical Handling of Local and Indigenous Knowledge Data" (Ruth Duerr)

This talk in a session on “Responsible Sharing of Confidential Research Data” will discuss the issues of ethically managing data from local and Indigenous Knowledge projects, especially with the increasing calls for open data.

CIRES is a partnership of NOAA and CU Boulder.


Colleen Strawhacker
Research Scientist, ELOKA
Heidi McCann
Knowledge Exchange Coordinator, ELOKA
Peter Pulsifer
Principal Investigator, ELOKA