In Canada, Inuit Communities Are Shaping Research Priorities

“Bell’s own claim to fame is SmartICE. Created in collaboration with the Nunatsiavut government, SmartICE integrates traditional ice knowledge with real-time data gathered from sensors embedded in and pulled across sea ice. Piloted in Nain beginning in 2012, SmartICE aims to generate a reliable map of travel hazards, accessible by desktop or smartphone.

SmartICE isn’t alone. Over the past decade, the Nunatsiavut government has redirected outside researchers’ efforts toward Inuit priorities, including mental health, marine pollution in wild foods, housing shortages, and, of course, sea ice. In doing so, Nunatsiavut has been an early contributor to the change now spreading across Canada’s four Inuit regions, which altogether encompass more than 1.4 million square miles, from the Alaskan border to the Atlantic. The consequences could transform the conduct of Canadian and international researchers in the north — a part of the world that holds vital clues about the future of a warming planet, but where the legacy of science-as-usual remains shadowed by centuries of mistrust, anger, and exploitation….

Six years before Nunatsiavut formed, the majority-Inuit territory of Nunavut was created in Canada’s high Arctic, and Canada’s other two Inuit regions are today moving toward limited self-government. All four regions come together as Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, a group that represents Canadian Inuit interests federally. In 2018, ITK launched the National Inuit Strategy on Research (NISR), aiming to elevate research self-determination and give Inuit communities greater say in the research that takes place in their homeland….

As with SmartICE, his research involves deploying buoys to develop more accurate predictive models of sea-ice coverage. In order to work in Nunatsiavut, he shares data freely with community members, and tends to place buoys where the community requests….”

Traditional Knowledge (TK) Labels – Local Contexts

“The TK Labels are a tool for Indigenous communities to add existing local protocols for access and use to recorded cultural heritage that is digitally circulating outside community contexts. The TK Labels offer an educative and informational strategy to help non-community users of this cultural heritage understand its importance and significance to the communities from where it derives and continues to have meaning. TK Labeling is designed to identify and clarify which material has community-specific restrictions regarding access and use. This is especially with respect to sacred and/or ceremonial material, material that has gender restrictions, seasonal conditions of use and/or materials specifically designed for outreach purposes. The TK Labels also can be used to add information that might be considered ‘missing’, including the name of the community who remains the creator or cultural custodian of the material, and how to contact the relevant family, clan or community to arrange appropriate permissions….”

Decisions adopted by the Executive Board at its 207th session – UNESCO Digital Library

From p. 15: “The Executive Board,

1. Having examined documents 207 EX/7 and 207 EX/PG/1.INF.3 and Corr.,

2. Takes note of the consolidated roadmap towards the adoption of a possible UNESCO recommendation on open science contained in the Annex to document 207 EX/7;

3. Notes the importance of ensuring an open and transparent process based on a proper geographical and gender balance for the selection of the members of the Advisory Committee;

4. Requests the Director-General to ensure a broad and geographically representative Open Science Partnership, with relevant stakeholders and institutions from all regions and from all branches of Basic and Applied Sciences, including Natural Sciences, Life Sciences, and Social and Human Sciences, particularly taking into account local and indigenous peoples and their traditional knowledge;

5. Recommends that the specific challenges of scientists in developing countries in regards to weak Science Technology and Innovation (STI) policy and legal systems, and the digital, technological and knowledge divides, be adequately addressed within the consolidated Roadmap and future recommendation to enable the scientists to fully participate and reap the benefits of the Open Science framework;

6. Also recommends that the General Conference, at its 40th session, invite the Director-General, to initiate, in accordance with the applicable rules and provided the resources are available, the process of elaborating a draft text of a new standard-setting instrument on open science, in the form of a recommendation, to be submitted for consideration by the General Conference at its 41st session;

7. Further recommends that the General Conference, at its 40th session, request the Director-General to hold at least one Category 2 intergovernmental meeting in presentia with a view to the elaboration of a recommendation on Open Science;

8. Recommends the Director-General to elaborate a draft Terms of Reference of The Open Science Advisory Committee to be presented at the next General Conference, for its consideration.”

Ownership, Control, Access and Possession in OA Publishing

“The issue of whose voices are represented—in print, online or on air—by whom and for whom, is particularly salient for under-represented and historically marginalized communities. Communities of colour and Indigenous peoples have more often found themselves to be objects of scholarly interest and academic scrutiny rather than recognized as co-creators of the research and equal partners in the publishing projects that follow. The phrase ‘Nothing About Us Without Us’—while historically associated with disability inclusion and empowerment—has greater relevance than ever, and offers us an opportunity to rethink how we share information in this digitally connected world.

For Indigenous communities in North America and beyond, the institutional momentum behind open access imperatives risks infringing (and even violating) long-held cultural protocols about who should be privy to certain forms of information and traditional knowledge, and when and how these are to be shared. The First Nations principles of OCAP®—Ownership, Control, Access and Possession—are important standards that all of us working in cultural heritage need to study with care….”

2019 Award Winner — World Data System: Trusted Data Services for Global Science

“Libby [Liggins] is part of the Steering Committee for the Genomics Observatory Metadatabase (GEOME), purpose-built to capture the metadata associated with biological samples and genomic sequences and conforming to current international standards for biodiversity and genomic data. Libby is also a core member of the Diversity of the Indo-Pacific Network (DIPnet) that seeks to advance biodiversity science in the world’s largest biogeographic region through international collaboration. DIPnet members have developed the largest, curated, georeferenced population genetic/genomic database in the world, and forms the core of GEOME….

Through collaboration with Local Contexts and Te Mana Rauranga (the M?ori Data Sovereignty Network), the Ira Moana Project and GEOME are now beta-testing the capacity for researchers to add a Traditional Knowledge Notice (TK Notice) and new Biocultural Labels as metadata. TK Notices signal that there are accompanying indigenous rights that need further attention for any responsible and equitable future use of the data. Biocultural Labels further allow the addition of provenance information and community expectations for future use based on Indigenous Data Sovereignty principles—including CARE (Collective Benefit, Authority to Control, Responsibility, Ethics) Principles launched by the Global Indigenous Data Alliance—thereby enabling indigenous stewardship and persistent recognition of indigenous rights within an international framework of Nagoya compliance. The implementation of a TK Notice and Biocultural Labels using GEOME’s infrastructure is a first for a biological resource and for genetic data, establishing new ethical standards in this research community.”

TK Notice – Local Contexts

“The TK Notice is a proposed digital identifier (mark/symbol) that offers a new option for the identification and recognition of Traditional Knowledge (TK). As a symbol with specific rules of use, it can function as an automatic digital tag that can be attached to information and data that comes from or includes TK. When TK material with an attached TK Notice is added into databases or other digital repositories, there is a visible notification that there is accompanying cultural rights and responsibilities that need further attention for any future sharing and use of this material.

The TK Notice is intended to be a collective notice and an initiative to elevate recognition of the cultural significance, importance and often placed-based nature of TK. In this sense, the TK Notice is identifying the unique nature of material.

The TK Notice is different from the TK Labels. The TK Notice is a singular notification with rules of use. It is not adaptable, unlike the TK Labels. It seeks to address a misperception that all knowledge arises out of, or comes from, a universal and collective ‘commons’. The TK Notice can be applied as a general stand-alone notice or it can indicate that TK Labels are in development and their implementation is being negotiated.

The TK Notice is under collaborative development.”

African Principles for Open Access in Scholarly Communication – AfricArXiv

“1) Academic Research and knowledge from and about Africa should be freely available to all who wish to access, use or reuse it while at the same time being protected from misuse and misappropriation.

2) African scientists and scientists working on African topics and/or territory will make their research achievements including underlying datasets available in a digital Open Access repository or journal and an explicit Open Access license is applied.

3) African research output should be made available in the principle common language of the global science community as well as in one or more local African languages – at least in summary.

4) It is important to take into consideration in the discussions indigenous and traditional knowledge in its various forms.

5) It is necessary to respect the diverse dynamics of knowledge generation and circulation by discipline and geographical area.

6) It is necessary to recognise, respect and acknowledge the regional diversity of African scientific journals, institutional repositories and academic systems.

7) African Open Access policies and initiatives promote Open Scholarship, Open Source and Open Standards for interoperability purposes.

8) Multi-stakeholder mechanisms for collaboration and cooperation should be established to ensure equal participation across the African continent.

9) Economic investment in Open Access is consistent with its benefit to societies on the African continent – therefore institutions and governments in Africa provide the enabling environment, infrastructure and capacity building required to support Open Access

10) African Open Access stakeholders and actors keep up close dialogues with representatives from all world regions, namely Europe, the Americas, Asia, and Oceania….”

African Principles for Open Access in Scholarly Communication – AfricArXiv

“1) Academic Research and knowledge from and about Africa should be freely available to all who wish to access, use or reuse it while at the same time being protected from misuse and misappropriation.

2) African scientists and scientists working on African topics and/or territory will make their research achievements including underlying datasets available in a digital Open Access repository or journal and an explicit Open Access license is applied.

3) African research output should be made available in the principle common language of the global science community as well as in one or more local African languages – at least in summary.

4) It is important to take into consideration in the discussions indigenous and traditional knowledge in its various forms.

5) It is necessary to respect the diverse dynamics of knowledge generation and circulation by discipline and geographical area.

6) It is necessary to recognise, respect and acknowledge the regional diversity of African scientific journals, institutional repositories and academic systems.

7) African Open Access policies and initiatives promote Open Scholarship, Open Source and Open Standards for interoperability purposes.

8) Multi-stakeholder mechanisms for collaboration and cooperation should be established to ensure equal participation across the African continent.

9) Economic investment in Open Access is consistent with its benefit to societies on the African continent – therefore institutions and governments in Africa provide the enabling environment, infrastructure and capacity building required to support Open Access

10) African Open Access stakeholders and actors keep up close dialogues with representatives from all world regions, namely Europe, the Americas, Asia, and Oceania….”

Is it possible to decolonize the Commons? An interview with Jane Anderson of Local Contexts – Creative Commons

“Joining us at the Creative Commons Global Summit in 2018, NYU professor and legal scholar Jane Anderson presented the collaborative project “Local Contexts,” “an initiative to support Native, First Nations, Aboriginal, Inuit, Metis and Indigenous communities in the management of their intellectual property and cultural heritage specifically within the digital environment.” The wide-ranging panel touched on the need for practical strategies for Indigenous communities to reclaim their rights and assert sovereignty over their own intellectual property….

How can we have an open movement that works for everyone, not only the most powerful? How have power structures historically worked against Indigenous communities, and how can the Creative Commons community work to change this historic inequality?

Jane Anderson discussed these issues as well as some of her more recent work with the Passamaquoddy Tribe in Maine with Creative Commons….”