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Data Sharing for Economic Development and Resiliency in Indian Country: Takeaways From Tribal Leaders

March 8, 2023  • Financial Security Program

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In November 2022, tribal leaders, federal officials, researchers and members of the private sector from across the U.S. met in Washington, D.C. to discuss the role of tribal data in promoting economic opportunities in Indian Country. The half-day convening was hosted by Wells Fargo and the Aspen Institute Financial Security Program. The Center for Indian Country Development at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis contributed research and expertise to support the discussion. 

Designed as a conversation about leveraging tribal data to attract private investment, the convening quickly evolved into a deeper, richer and more heartfelt discussion about the ways tribal data can be weaponized by non-Indian stakeholders—or leveraged by tribal citizens to strengthen tribal operations and showcase tribal economic power. 

By the end of the meeting, participants appeared to have largely converged around four key takeaways, as detailed in this rapporteur’s report:

  1.  Tribal sovereignty is imperative;
  2.  Establishing trust is a critical prerequisite to sharing data;
  3. “Tribal data” can mean different things to different people and therefore clarity is needed; and
  4. When done right, sharing select tribal data can benefit tribal governments and citizens significantly.

Download the report to learn more.