Thoughtfully consider, document and implement data governance
Data is key to Indigenous Peoples’ self-determination and self-governance and meaningful engagement with Indigenous partners must include conversations about data governance. Historically and today, Indigenous data has been collected, used, and governed without meaningful involvement from the Indigenous Peoples it belongs to. To make progress towards Reconciliation, this needs to change.
Indigenous Peoples should have control over the way their data is managed. This requires a distinctions-based approach that meaningfully incorporates First Nations, Métis and Inuit voices into decision-making processes throughout the entire data lifecycle. Teams should ensure that data planning, collection, use and sharing with Indigenous communities is thoughtfully considered, documented and implemented in alignment with Indigenous partners, this practice and supporting resources.
Meaningful engagement with Indigenous partners must include conversations about data governance. These conversations may lead to information sharing or data sharing agreements that document the roles, responsibilities, commitments, and expectations of each partner and support a productive, respectful government-to-government relationship.
Prioritize the inclusion of Indigenous languages
Language is fundamental to culture and identity. Despite this, the government records information about Indigenous Peoples using the Latin alphabet, which can prevent Indigenous people from identifying themselves in a way that’s consistent with their language and culture.
Digital services should respect Indigenous Peoples’ right to identify themselves how they choose. This means buying, building and designing services to enable the use of Indigenous names in their correct spelling and prioritizing the ability to store and display Indigenous characters correctly.
Technology can support access to services in Indigenous languages and promote awareness of Indigenous languages to the people who live in British Columbia. Where there is support from communities, services may be offered in Indigenous languages or use Indigenous place names. The work of preserving, revitalizing and strengthening Indigenous languages should always be led by Indigenous Peoples, with the Province playing a supporting role.
The alignment guide is intended to be used with the supporting context of the related practice and resources. The guide provides examples of what implementation of this practice may look like and defines a range of development within the practice area.
The alignment guide for ‘Express cultural and historical awareness and respect’ looks different than the other 9 guides. This is reflective of the ongoing process of Reconciliation and the mutual responsibility of all parties to participate in and to inform the parameters and direction of the relationship.
We look forward to the continued development of this alignment guide and other supporting resources for this practice.
Initial teams fail to acknowledge and consider the historical relationships between Indigenous Peoples and government in their work.
- Do not consider Indigenous perspectives or government commitments to reconciliation in the planning, development or implementation of a digital product or service
- Harmful biases or assumptions exist within the team, impacting the experience of Indigenous users, team culture and operational needs
Developing teams are identifying barriers to reconciliation and developing plans to address them.
- Have completed a technical Unicode readiness assessment and have an action plan to ensure the system can properly ingest, store and transmit Unicode characters
- Have completed a review of their processes and procedures and identified any policy or process barriers to accepting Indigenous characters and language to their product or service
- Have reviewed data and information holdings to determine if any records within their custody or control could belong to or would be of interest to Indigenous Peoples, partners or communities
- Allocates resources to Indigenous cultural learning and development of skills in intercultural competency, conflict resolution, human rights and Anti-Racism for team members
Delivering teams are actively working to address identified barriers to Reconciliation.
- Implementing technical requirements needed to ensure the system can properly ingest, store and transmit Unicode characters
- Implementing solutions to identify policy or process barriers. This may include education or training for staff to be confident with the operationalization of unique characters, or the adjustment of complementary products or service to ensure a seamless user experience
- Ensuring that the electronic storage of Indigenous information or stories is done in a culturally safe manner that mitigates any community harm
- Ensuring that any data collection, use or sharing with Indigenous communities is thoughtfully considered and documented, including consideration for cultural safety and mitigation of community harm
Reflecting teams have addressed identified barriers and are reflecting and iterating to continue their momentum in this practice.
- Sharing their learnings with other areas of the BC Public Service, agencies or external partners
- Seeking opportunities to include Indigenous perspectives in product steering committee, governance and decision making
- Ensuring that any work done about people is done with the people
Writing Guide for Indigenous Content
First Nations Data Sovereignty
Including Indigenous languages in government records, systems and services
Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act