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Indigenous Partnerships, Data and Analytics

For several years, ICES has been working closely with First Nations, Inuit, and Métis partners, and urban Indigenous health service providers to develop unique partnerships that include data governance and data sharing agreements. These partnerships have enabled Indigenous-driven analyses using ICES data.


In January 2024, ICES formalized its Indigenous Portfolio into a department, Indigenous Partnerships, Data and Analytics. This change underscores the recognition of the unique rights of Indigenous Peoples and ICES’ commitment to Indigenous Data Sovereignty. This shift enables ICES to better focus on and expand partnerships with Indigenous communities and organizations, to be responsive to a greater number of community requests, and to further refine internal capacity building and external capacity strengthening efforts.

ICES continues to develop and maintain data governance agreements with First Nations, Métis and Inuit partners, and ensures these guiding agreements and processes are respected for each project.

ICES has a unique process and dedicated funds to support community-led research and analytics requests. If you are part of a First Nations, Inuit and Métis community or Indigenous organization and have a health-related question, consider submitting an Applied Health Research Question (AHRQ). All eligible AHRQ requests are conducted at no cost to the requester. If you are interested, please fill out a Request Form or contact [email protected] so that we can assist you in completing the form and navigating this process.


Work with Indigenous Data and Partners

  • We will support Indigenous-driven use of ICES data.
  • We will work to be a trusted partner for Indigenous organizations, scholars and communities.
  • We will listen to and learn from Indigenous teachings and principles so that we can apply them to our relationships and collaborative projects.
Data Governance Principles

Indigenous Data Governance Principles

The figure depicts an overall framework that is informed by collaboration with the Chiefs of Ontario on work with First Nations data.

Indigenous Data at ICES: Registries, Self-identifiers, Geographic identifiers, Indigenous-specific data sets
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Indigenous Data at ICES

Through our partnerships, agreements and study of the ethical frameworks outlined in the External Reference Materials section below, ICES has interpreted Indigenous data and identifiers as including:

  • Registries (e.g., Indian Register System, Métis Citizenship Registry)
  • Self-identifiers (e.g., survey data with identifiers that have been linked at ICES)
  • Geographic identifiers (e.g., postal codes, residence codes or census subdivisions associated with First Nations communities)
  • Indigenous-specific datasets (e.g., survey or health service delivery data)

These may identify directly or by proxy any of the following: (i) First Nations Peoples and/or communities (ii) Métis Peoples and/or communities (iii) Inuit and/or Inuit communities (iv) Indigenous Peoples and/or communities.

For more information, please contact us at [email protected].

Governance of Indigenous Data at ICES

Indigenous data governance and engagement is nuanced and complex. In each research project or request for data, there are many things to consider and the landscape is evolving. ICES continues to develop data governance agreements with First Nations, Métis and Inuit partners. These key guiding agreements and supporting processes are respected for each project.

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