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Andrew Martinez (Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community), NNI Research Specialist, was selected for The American Geophysical Union (AGU) Voices for Science Program. This competitive application program creates and supports a network of highly qualified advocates who seek to strengthen science with innovative dialog and collaborative partnerships. The year-long program is split into two tracks, media/communication and policy. The 2019 cohort recently met in Washington, D.C. where they got to know AGU staff, their peers, and participate in workshops.
Martinez, whose current research is focused on data governance within Indian Country, is part of the policy cohort. His work with NNI's Associate Director Stephanie Carroll Rainie (Ahtna Athabascan) promotes and supports an Indigenous data sovereignty (IDSov) framework which is the right of a nation to govern the collection, ownership, and application of its own data. Martinez's work centers on the collection and analysis of public data sharing agreements between Native nations and off-community partners that are used to develop research projects and studies. A critical component of their impact extends beyond their research and to the dissemination and communication of their findings to tribal policymakers and other researchers. Martinez shared "the history of research with Native American tribes and universities is not a positive one and has created an environment of mistrust. In recent years, our tribes have begun partnering with universities and research institutions to develop research projects that build capacity within their communities and protect their resources. Communicating the IDSov framework and understanding data governance mechanisms, such as data sharing agreements is necessary work and has been continually highlighted through conversations with tribal leaders over the last two years."
Over the next year, Martinez sees the Voices for Science Program as a great avenue to reach new audiences with policymakers at the federal and state levels. He also looks forward to continuing his NNI work as an advocate for Indigenous communities within the science community. Martinez is excited to begin his Voices for Science advocacy work and will travel to Arizona State University to attend the first Indigenous Data Sovereignty Summit in Arizona on April 24th to speak with tribal leaders and summit attendees. All of the AGU Voices advocates will receive support throughout the year from AGU staff, members of the former cohort, and their current class.
Image: American Geophysical Union Voices for Science Program Advocates 2019
Image credit: American Geophysical Union