Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department / School

Mathematics and Statistics

First Advisor

Gary Hatfield


American Indian, data science, data sovereignty, Geographic Information Systems, governance framework, machine learning


The Data Sovereignty Initiative is a collection of ideas that was designed to create SMART solutions for tribal communities. This concept was to develop a horizontal governance framework to create a strategic act of sovereignty using data science. The core concept of this idea was to present data sovereignty as a way for tribal communities to take ownership of data in order to affect policy and strategic decisions that are data driven in nature. The case studies in this manuscript were developed around statistical theories of spatial statistics, exploratory data analysis, and machine learning. And although these case studies are first, scientific in nature, the data sovereignty framework was designed around these concepts to leverage nation building, cultural capital, and citizen science for economic development and planning. The data sovereignty framework is a flexible way to create data domains, around developed key indicators to integrate appropriate cultural capital when working with Native nations. This design is intended to put scientific theory into practice to affect everyday outcomes using data driven decision making. This framework is a proof concept and represents both applied and theoretical metrics in design strength.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Self-determination, National -- United States.
Records -- Access control -- United States.
Data protection -- United States.
Indians of North America -- Legal status, laws, etc.


Includes bibliographical references (pages 219-229)



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University



Rights Statement

In Copyright