International Conference on Sámi Research Data Governance 2023

Image caption International Conference on Sámi Research Data Governance

25–27 January 2023, Romsa/Tromsø, Norway

The International Conference on Sámi Research Data Governance aims to identify pertinent issues concerning Sámi data governance. The conference will facilitate the exchange of knowledge, understanding, and experiences regarding Indigenous and Sámi data governance and promote collaboration between Sámi and non-Sámi researchers in the Nordic context on data governance and management.


There is an increasing awareness of, and need for, ethical and responsible handling of Indigenous knowledge and data. The general FAIR Guiding Principles for Scientific Data Management and Stewardship were published in 2016 and seek to make research data more Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable.

The Global Indigenous Data Alliance (GIDA) is a global network of Indigenous researchers, data practitioners, and policy activists advocating for Indigenous data governance to advance Indigenous data control within their nation-states and at an international level. The CARE (Collective Benefit, Authority to Control, Responsibility, and Ethics) principles for Indigenous data governance were established in 2018 by GIDA to complement the FAIR principles.

Connected to the global network, the GIDA-Sápmi network was founded in June 2021 with members from various universities, memory institutions, and archives in Norway, Sweden, and Finland. The objectives of GIDA-Sápmi include 1) to promote, adapt, and operationalise the CARE principles to the Nordic Sámi context; 2) to make the Nordic research community, memory and archival institutions aware of the Indigenous CARE principles; and 3) to advance the discussion on Sámi data governance principles.

Register for the conference

Registration for the conference is now closed. Deadline for registration was December 5th, 2022. 

Language and interpretation 

All presentations will be given in English or northern sámi language. Interpretation between English and northern sámi will be available on Zoom.

If you need interpretation

  1. Download the Zoom app on your phone or laptop (download for iPhone, download for Android)
  2. Join Zoom Meeting by clicking this link
    Or by using this meeting ID: 694 8782 4885 with the password: 435059

  3. Choose northern sámi language for interpretation. Interpreters will use same channel for english interpretation. 

Keynote speakers

Dr. Tahu Kukutai (Ngāti Tiipa)

Professor of Demography at The University of Waikato and Co-Director of Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga Centre of Research Excellence in Aotearoa New Zealand. Tahu specialises in Māori and Indigenous demographic research and has written extensively on issues of Māori population change and identity, Indigenous data sovereignty, official statistics, and ethnic classification. She is a founding member of the Māori Data Sovereignty Network Te Mana Raraunga and the Global Indigenous Data Alliance. She co-edited Indigenous data sovereignty: Toward an agenda (ANU Press), Indigenous data sovereignty and policy (Routledge), and The Oxford handbook of Indigenous sociology (OUP). She is a Fellow of the Royal Society Te Apārangi and a Global Leader of Digital Human Rights (Global Leaders). 

Dr. Stephanie Carroll, Dene/Ahtna, a citizen of the Native Village of Kluti-Kaah in Alaska, and of Sicilian-descent.

Based at the University of Arizona, she is Assistant Professor of Public Health, Associate Director for the Native Nations Institute, and Acting Director and Assistant Research Professor at the Udall Center. Her interdisciplinary research group, the Collaboratory for Indigenous Data Governance, develops research, policy, and practice innovations for Indigenous data sovereignty. Stephanie chairs the Global Indigenous Data Alliance (GIDA), the International Indigenous Data Sovereignty Interest Group at the Research Data Alliance, and the Indigenous Data Working Group for the IEEE P2890 Recommended Practice for Provenance of Indigenous Peoples' Data.

Erin Corston, Executive Lead, National Data Team

Born and raised in Treaty 9 Territory, Erin Corston is a member the Chapleau Cree First Nation (CCFN; Cree: ᔕᑊᓗ ᐃᓂᓂᐗᐠ, šaplo ininiwak). CCFN is one of eight communities affiliated with the Mushkegowuk Tribal Council and it is located near the town of Chapleau, Ontario. Her current work at FNIGC is focused on advancing First Nations’ rights over their data and information, through the implementation of a national strategy on First Nations Data Governance. The First Nations Data Governance Strategy (FNDGS, or “The Strategy”) is all about establishing a First Nations-led network of Regional Information Governance Centers (RIGCs) that, once up and running, will provide shared data and statistical services to First Nations communities, their governments, and their service delivery organizations. Erin believes strongly in First Nations’ ability to harness the power of their data to create sustainable change at the local level, where it matters most.


Day 1: 25th January

18:30-21.00 Reception at Árdna, The Sámi cultural house it UiT The Arctic University of Norway. Taxi leaves Clarion Hotel the Edge at 18.00. Taxi back to Clarion Hotel the Edge leaves from Árdna at 21.15

Day 2: 26th January

08.00-9.00: Registration at conference venue, Clarion Hotel The Edge

09.00-09.30 Introduction and welcome by the GIDA-Sápmi conference committee. Opening remarks from

  • The Norwegian Sámi Parliament
  • UiT The Arctic University of Norway

09.30-10.30: "Towards data sovereignty in Aotearoa/New Zealand", Keynote Tahu Kukutai, Professor of Demography, University of Waikato

10.30 -11.00: Break

11.00-12.00: Session one. Three presenters (15 minutes each), followed by Q&A

  • "Indigenous navigator in Sápmi - Saami data for Saami advocacy" ​​​​​– David Nathaniel Berger,  The International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs (IWGIA)
  • "Touchstones of Data Protection connected to the Production of Sámi Knowledge" ​​​​​–  Lydia Heikkilä, Sámi Parliament (Finland), Rauna Kuokkanen, University of Lapland. 
  • "Data to govern (or lack thereof). A structured overview of Sámi (non-)presence in official statistics in Norway" ​​​​​– Torunn Pettersen, Sámi University of Applied Sciences 

12.00-13.00 Session two. Three presenters (15 minutes each), followed by Q&A

  • "From DigiJoik to Luohtevuorkká" ​​​​​– Camilla Brattland, Trude Fonneland and Rossella Ragazzi, UiT The Arctic University of Norway
  • "Towards an Open Government Data policy for Indigenous Peoples’ Digital Cultural Heritage" ​​​​​– Dino Girardi, Rosa Maria Ballardini and Inker-Anni Linkola-Aikio, University of Lapland
  • "Who governs our stories?" ​​​​​– Else Grete Broderstad and Eva Josefsen, UiT The Arctic University of Norway

13.00-14.00: Lunch

14.00-15.00 "History of GIDA and the CARE principles- towards indigenous governance of data." Keynote Stephanie Russo Carroll, GIDA co-director and Assistant Professor of Public Health at University of Arizona. (Via zoom)  

15.00-15.15: Presentation of the Sami Parliament’s Expert Ethics Committee for Sami Health Research. Siv Kvernmo, Head of Committee.

15.15-16.30 Session three. Three presenters (15 minutes each), followed by Q&A.

  • "Data governance of the Sámi-HET Study in Sweden"  ​​​​​– Lena Maria Nilsson, Miguel San Sebastian and Petter Stoor, Umeå University
  • "Experiences from the HALDI study 2018-2022"  ​​​​​– Christina Storm Mienna, Per Axelsson and Katarina Nägga, Umeå University 
  • "An example of Sami data governance within university infrastructures"  ​​​​​– Ann Ragnhild Broderstad, Marita Melhus and Susanna Siri, UiT The Arctic University of Norway

Conference dinner at 19.00 at the conference venue, Clarion Hotel the Edge

Day 3: 27th January

06.00 - 07.30: Optional morning ice-bathing and sauna at PUST, a sauna in the centre of Tromsø (Wardrobe and cold water shower)

08.45 - 09.00 Opening remarks from the president of The Saami Council Aslat Holmberg.  

09.00 - 10.00 : "A First Nations Data Governance Strategy and Exercising our Rights Over Data", Keynote Erin Corston, Executive Lean, National Data Champion Team, First Nations Indigenous Governance Centre, Canada

10.00 -10.15: "Stewardship and data", Magnus Kostøl, adviser from the Sami Parliament in Norway

10.15-11.30: Session 4. Three presenters (15 minutes each), followed by Q&A

  • "Data management and school research in an ethnic minority context" – Hanna Maarit Outakoski, Umeå University
  • "Open language data in the age of Machine Learning" –  Lene Antonsen, Sjur Nørstebø Moshagen, Trond Trosterud and Linda Wiechetek, UiT The Arctic University of Norway"
  • "Research on Indigenous Data Governance Protocols" – Adrien Tofighi-Niaki and Ramin Soleymani Fard, Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona
  • "Challenges and needs for an ethical implementation of Open Science in Sámi research" – Coppélie Cocq, Umeå University 

11.30-12.00: Break

12.00-13.00: Roundtable discussion: "Ensuring Indigenous data sovereignty and governance in European arctic research: a roadmap towards decolonial Arctic research"

  • Participants are Aslak Holmberg and Eva Fjellheim from the Saami council, Britt Kramvig, Nina Hermansen and Jan Erik Henriksen from IVO (Indigenous Voices research group.), UiT The Artic University of Norway. Jan Erik will lead the discussion. 

13.00-14.00: Lunch 

14.00-14:30: Closing comments and goodbye.

14.30-15.30: Meeting with presenters. 

Bures boahtin / Welcome

Organizing committee

Siv Kvernmo
Department of Clinical Medicine
UiT The Arctic University of Norway
Rune Fjellheim
Specialist in Arctic Policy Issues, Indigenous Peoples' Policy Development.
Saami Council

Grant applicants

Susanna Siri
Centre for Sámi Health Research
UiT The Arctic University of Norway

Per Axelsson
Associate Professor
Umeå University

Rauna Kuokkanen
Research Professor
Arctic Indigenous Studies
University of Lapland 

Funded by