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On June 23, 2016, NNI graduate research associate Desi Rodriguez-Lonebear (Northern Cheyenne) took part in the one-day Sihasin Summit: Reflecting on Research and Data Management in the Navajo Nation, convened at Diné College’s Shiprock, New Mexico campus. Jointly sponsored by the Diné Policy Institute and the Navajo Studies Conference, Inc., the summit focused on tribal data development, access, management, and protection within the Navajo Nation.
Desi’s presentation, part of a broader panel discussion entitled Reflecting on Challenges and Looking Forward, emphasized how growing Navajo data warriors in local communities through data training and institutional partnership can help address the opportunities and challenges inherent in tribal data sovereignty, and also discussed the newly established U.S. Indigenous Sovereignty Network (USIDSN). Other panelists discussed mechanisms for protecting Navajo data, such as the Navajo IRB process; how data are currently utilized to advance the Navajo Nation; and ways to assert sovereignty over Navajo data.