The Montréal Indigenous Community Network (NETWORK) is collecting data to understand more about the realities of the First Nations in the Montréal community. Data gives them the chance to set their own priorities and communicate their own needs
Finding answers that are adapted to benefit the First Nations
Indigenous populations are in the best position to collect and manage data that affects them, making sure that it represents their realities. Recognizing that Indigenous peoples are the experts on their own history, experiences and knowledge is the first step to avoiding problems inherent to non-Indigenous data management.
When data is managed by non-Indigenous organizations, a power imbalance tends to prioritize non-Indigenous interests. As well, Indigenous peoples are not always kept informed about the way their data is used.
The NETWORK project aims to remedy these problems and re-centre data collection around the needs and priorities of Indigenous communities by integrating their knowledge and creating data management structures that are more responsible and more transparent. Collecting data by and for Indigenous peoples will also help us find better adapted answers that can fully benefit populations.
Connecting and educating partner organizations
NETWORK’s project, which is supported by the city, aims to create healthy, respectful partnerships between Indigenous communities and non-Indigenous organizations. The project also aims to connect organizations with one another as well as improve data access and information distribution.
The most important impact of this project is to increase sovereignty and data management. The concept of sovereignty is well known when it applies to territory, governments and other forms of self-determination for Indigenous people. However, these rights have not yet been extended to data collection and management. That is what this project seeks to do.
Montréal in Common
Montréal in Common is an innovation community led by the city. Its partners are experimenting with solutions to food access, mobility and municipal legislation with a view to redesigning the city. The 13 Montréal in Common projects are being implemented through a $50 million award from the government of Canada as part of the Smart Cities Challenge.