DSSN Symposium: “Indigenous Data Sovereignty and Digital Archives”

The 2022 DSSN Symposium will be held on May 10, 2022. This will be a hybrid event. 

In-person location: Baldy Center, 509 O’Brian Hall, North Campus
Time: 1:00-4:00pm EDT
View Recording

This symposium will bring together Indigenous and non-Indigenous scholars with an interest in social and technical systems for managing access to digital materials documenting Indigenous cultural and linguistic practices. A key concern to be addressed will be how to ensure that Indigenous communities are able to maintain sovereignty over materials documenting their heritage in light of conflicts between Western notions of intellectual property and diverse Indigenous traditions.

This symposium is expected to be of interest to scholars with an interest in Indigenous Studies, Law, Information Science, Anthropology, and Linguistics, as well as others involved with exploring the long-ranging historical impacts of colonialism, as is typical of much research in the humanities. It will also be of value for people engaged in the maintenance of the intellectual traditions of Indigenous communities, including members of the university community, such as librarians and archivists, who may be called upon to develop protocols and platforms that facilitate the safekeeping of Indigenous data in ways which allow Indigenous communities to maintain sovereignty over materials documenting their cultural, intellectual, and linguistic heritage.

This event is being co-sponsored by the The Baldy Center for Law and Social Policy and the Department of Indigenous Studies.”


Invited Speakers

Headshot of Professor Angela R.Riley.

Angela Riley, Professor of Law at the University of California, Los Angeles, School of Law and Director of the JD/MA joint degree program in Law and American Indian Studies and the Native Nations Law and Policy Center. Angela R. Riley (Citizen Potawatomi Nation) is an internationally-renowned indigenous rights scholar. She received her undergraduate degree at the University of Oklahoma and her law degree from Harvard Law School. In 2003 she became the first woman Justice of the Supreme Court of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation of Oklahoma. In 2010, she was elected as Chief Justice. She also serves as Co-Chair for the United Nations – Indigenous Peoples’ Partnership Policy Board, which is a commitment to implementing the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Angela's talk is titled "The Ascension of Indigenous Cultural Property Law".



Photograph of Jorge Fabra Zamora.

Jorge Fabra Zamora, University at Buffalo School of Law

Jorge Fabra Zamora holds a law degree from the Universidad de Cartagena, Colombia, and a Master's and Ph.D. in Philosophy from McMaster University, Canada. Between 2018–19, he was the Project Officer in Water Governance and Human Rights in the Research Project "Co-Creation of Indigenous Water Quality Tools," which is part of Global Water Futures.  

Profile image of Dr. Anderson Jane with both hands on face.

Jane Anderson, Associate Professor of Anthropology and Museum Studies and a Global Fellow in the Engelberg Center for Innovation Law and Policy in the Law School at New York University. Jane has a Ph.D. in Law from the Law School at University of New South Wales in Australia. Her work is focused on the philosophical and practical problems for intellectual property law and the protection of Indigenous/traditional knowledge resources and cultural heritage in support of Indigenous knowledge and data sovereignty.

Jane's talk is titled "Relations of CARE: Indigenous Data Provenance"





Headshot of Mia McKie; the respondent for the symposium.

Mia McKie, University at Buffalo Department of Indigenous Studies, Tuscarora Nation, Turtle Clan