Feb. 4, 2021
For Immediate Release
WATERLOO – Wilfrid Laurier University’s sixth annual Indigenist Research Symposium, taking place Wednesday, Feb. 10, will bring together top Indigenous scholars for a virtual event open to all. This year’s theme is “Indigenous Data Sovereignty: Impacts on Research and the Post-Secondary Education Landscape.” Laurier’s Office of Indigenous Initiatives has invited Indigenous experts to discuss data sovereignty – the concept that data’s use should be determined by the nation in which it was collected – and share ethical best practices for data collection, use, storage and reporting protocols in Indigenous contexts.
“Indigenous data sovereignty is a topic affecting many sectors, including higher education, and we want to raise awareness of its importance,” said Melissa Ireland, Laurier’s director and interim senior advisor of Indigenous Initiatives. “We hope to support future conversations at the university in order to enhance commitments to protecting Indigenous data, as well as learn about processes that are respectful and responsible to Indigenous peoples.”
The panel discussion, which will be held on Zoom from 2 to 4 p.m., will be moderated by Candace Brunette-Debassige, acting vice-provost and associate vice-president of Indigenous Initiatives at Western University. She will be joined by two panelists: Robyn Rowe, PhD candidate in the School of Rural and Northern Health at Laurentian University, and Kristine Neglia, manager of the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP) and information governance at the First Nations Information Governance Centre (FNIGC).
Brunette-Debassige is a Mushkego Cree woman originally from Fort Albany First Nation (Treaty Nine territory). She teaches at Western and formerly served as its director of Indigenous Services, Aboriginal education advisor for the Thames Valley District School Board, and in Indigenous recruitment and support roles at the University of Toronto. Brunette-Debassige is a doctoral candidate completing research about the experiences of Indigenous women administrators enacting Indigenizing policies at Canadian universities.
Rowe is Anishinaabe-kwe. Her maternal family’s traditional territory is called Friday’s Point, located on Lake Temagami near Temagami First Nation. Rowe is an Indigenous health researcher and a sessional professor in Laurentian’s School of Indigenous Relations. She is a member of the International Indigenous Data Sovereignty Interest Group through the Research Data Alliance and an executive member of the Global Indigenous Data Alliance. Rowe’s PhD work focuses on Indigenous data sovereignty and governance.
Neglia is a member of the Curve Lake First Nation in Ontario. At FNIGC, she is responsible for education and training activities. She supports Indigenous and non-Indigenous organizations in increasing their knowledge and skills related to OCAP, information governance and Indigenous data sovereignty. Neglia was formerly the education specialist for the First Nations Health Managers Association.
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