Water Scholar

Kelsey Leonard

Speaking Session:

Data Warriors for Indigenous Data Sovereignty

Wednesday, June 19 @ 2:45 PM – 3:05 PM Stage A

The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) protects Indigenous Peoples right to self-determination, which includes Indigenous Data Sovereignty. Does the tech community empower Indigenous data sovereignty or simply replicate colonialism in the digital world? Fundamentally, we must look at data differently and value Indigenous science, knowledge and worldviews for our shared sustainable future.

Kelsey Leonard is a PhD Candidate and Philomathia Water Policy Fellow in the Department of Political Science at McMaster University where she focuses on Indigenous water security and its climatic, territorial and governance underpinnings.

Kelsey is also a citizen of the Shinnecock Indian Nation of Long Island, New York. She’s a Tribal Representative for the Mid-Atlantic Committee on the Ocean, a member of the Great Lakes Water Quality Board of the International Joint Commission and a member of the Advisory Council of the US Indigenous Data Sovereignty Network. 

Kelsey holds a B.A. in Sociology and Anthropology with honours from Harvard University, a MSc in Water Science, Policy and Management from the University of Oxford, and a J.D. from Duquesne University.

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