Meet the New Indigenous Data Sovereignty Fellows and Scholars

09/30/19 10:06:am

The Native Nations Institute is pleased to welcome Cheryl Ellenwood, M.A. (Nez Perce) and Lydia Jennings (Pascua Yaqui and Huichol) as Doctoral Scholars and Ibrahim Garba, M.A., J.D., LL.M. as a Postdoctoral Fellow. They join Doctoral Scholar Desi Rodriguez-Lonebear (Northern Cheyenne), Postdoctoral Fellow Dominique David-Chavez (Arawak Taíno), and staff members Andrew Martinez (Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community), Mary Beth Jäger (Citizen Potawatomi), and Stephanie Russo Carroll (Ahtna) on the Indigenous Data Sovereignty (IDSOV) and Governance research team. Carroll created the team in 2015 prior to co-founding the US Indigenous Data Sovereignty Network (USIDSN) with Rodriguez-Lonebear, the International Indigenous Data Sovereignty Interest Group at the Research Data Alliance, and the GIDA, the Global Indigenous Data Alliance. Carroll says, “I am excited to add new IDSOV team members to expand the diversity of Indigenous and allied voices that combine deep disciplinary knowledge with activism and advocacy for Indigenous data sovereignty via manuscripts, presentations, and participation in discipline-based organizations. Most importantly, the different ways of knowing and relationships brought to the team by each member enhances the University’s ability to support and strengthen Indigenous governance.”

Cheryl Ellenwood

Ibrahim Garba

Lydia Jennings

Ellenwood is a Public Administration and Management doctoral candidate at the School of Government and Public Policy. Her research focuses on the relationships between funding entities and nonprofit organizations, as well as the role of legitimacy in diverse resource acquisition. Garba is a doctoral candidate in the Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy program. As an IDSOV Fellow, he will analyze legislation and official documents issued by U.S. tribes to govern research on their territories. More specifically, he will look at how and whether these documents address a series of policy and ethics issues implicated in research with Indigenous Peoples—issues like community engagement, data use and ownership, community benefit, and culturally-responsive research design. Jennings is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Environmental Sciences, with a minor in American Indian Policy. Her research focuses on environmental remediation, Indigenous science, mining policy, and environmental data ownership by tribal nations. Additionally, the National Science Foundation awarded David-Chavez with funding for her IDSOV Post Doctoral Fellowship with Carroll. Through the project “Supporting Indigenous Scholars As Data Stewards and Leaders in STEM,” she will study federal entities’ ethics and protocols for conducting research with Indigenous communities and on Indigenous lands. David-Chavez is dually appointed as a post doctoral scholar with the Colorado State University’s Warner College of Natural Resources.

Garba shared “I participated in January in Tucson in 2017 and was intrigued by how the issues raised in the Indigenous data sovereignty course were connected to other themes in my research on Indigenous self-determination. It has been exciting to join the IDSOV team and continue the conversation in a rich and sustained way.”

David-Chavez “ So grateful for this opportunity to apply my skills towards supporting Indigenous governance and data sovereignty for Native nations and to continue to learn from an amazing network of mentors and leaders in this movement!”


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