Urban American Indian and Alaska Native Data Sovereignty: Ethical Issues


This paper examines the ethical issues underlying research with urban American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/ANs) through the lens of tribal sovereignty. Most AI/AN people live away from their designated tribal lands, yet their sovereign rights are frequently only recognized when living on tribal lands. These urban AI/ANs are still considered citizens of their sovereign nations, yet they lack the protections afforded to those who live on tribal lands, including protections surrounding research with their tribal communities. The Belmont Report and related documents are explored and their inadequacy in considering the cultural and ethical concerns specific to protecting urban AI/ANs is demonstrated. Several solutions to help guide future institutional policies regarding research with urban AI/ANs that honors Indigenous data sovereignty are also provided, including consultation, partnership with community advisory boards, employment of data use agreements, and ensuring informed conse

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