An article about how the chief research officer of the Seattle Indian Health Board is using data to better serve indigenous communities


In this article, Abigail Echo-Hawk, the Chief Research Officer of the Seattle Indian Health Board, talks about what it means to decolonize data in her context of providing health services for indigenous communities. This discussion goes into how data is communicated through a deficit-based framework, how to add a cultural lens in thinking about data, and how data can be used to elevate the stories of those it is supposed to serve.

Cw: Sexual assault. violence The mid to latter half of this article contains content about the author’s experience that might be triggering for some people.

Connection to Equity

Data and the power dynamics associated with data usage and interpretation can often lead to narratives that are damaging to the individuals or communities to whom the data belongs. This article highlights how data can be used to harm but also how some have been intentional about thinking about data to combat traditional ways of using data.