The First Nations Information Governance Centre (FNIGC) held a conference from March 28-30 called “First Nations Data Governance: Tools for Empowerment”. FMCC coordinator and University of Alberta researcher Rob McMahon travelled to Gatineau, QC to give two presentations at the event. The conference showcased the work of a range of participants, from First Nations community leaders, data management experts, and staff from regional data governance centres to federal government representatives from departments including Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada and the Treasury Board.
Rob McMahon provided an overview of the FMCC’s work, with a focus on potential links between data and connectivity, in the context of First Nations data governance. This presentation generated questions and discussion about shared opportunities and ways that FMCC member organizations might work together with conference participants in the field of data governance and management, particularly in the context of technical infrastructure.
In his second presentation, Rob provided a workshop on digital data management in the education sector. This highlighted the work of the FMCC member organizations, such as the Membertou Data centre in Nova Scotia, and K-Net’s training work with the DadaVan student information system in Ontario. He also spoke about the First Nation Education Council’s work developing ICT governance standards in First Nations schools in Quebec, and implementing the CANO student information system. The CANO project included research with the Mohawk community of Kahnawà:ke. Rob provided an overview of this work, which was published in the International Journal of Indigenous Policy and co-authored with Tim Whiteduck from FNEC ad Kahnawà:ke.
The conference was a great opportunity to connect with colleagues from the FNIGC, and from data governance projects happening in First Nations across Canada. The FMCC team looks forward to learning more about this work moving forward.