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Fact Sheet Health Information and Data SharingTribal Health

Data Governance Strategies for States and Tribal Nations

September 10, 2020


The health and wellness of Tribal nations depend on effective data collection and analysis. Data are essential for robust public health practices, including surveillance, epidemiological investigation, research, program development, implementation and evaluation. Tribes may lack capacity to collect data needed to improve Tribal health and well-being, and other jurisdictions may have already collected the Tribe’s data as part of their ongoing surveillance. There are opportunities for Tribes and other jurisdictions to mutually assist each other; unfortunately, a lack of trust has interfered with data sharing arrangements.

Thus, this fact sheet focuses on strategies states should take to support indigenous data sovereignty. Sound and effective governance strategies for data sharing among states and Tribal nations are integral for ensuring that trust is maintained, and data privacy and security risks are appropriately managed. The keys to establishing and maintaining trust are respecting Tribal data sovereignty and honoring the United States’ trust responsibility to Tribal nations.