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Indigenous Portfolio

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.


ICES formalized its Indigenous Portfolio with dedicated staff in October of 2017, and continually supports capacity-building among all ICES staff and faculty to meaningfully work with Indigenous partners and Indigenous data. ICES continues to develop data governance agreements with First Nations, Métis and Inuit partners, and these guiding agreements and processes are respected for each project.

ICES is also committed to strengthening capacity in Indigenous communities and organizations for using data through an ICES Indigenous Health Data Training Program, as well as other collaborations such as secondments. ICES’ ongoing commitment to this work is articulated in our current strategic plan.


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.

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.

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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.

Dr. Jennifer Walker is the Indigenous Advisor at ICES. 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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