Our Governance

Local Contexts enables Indigenous communities, research and collections-based institutions, and researchers around the world to interact and create inclusive and culturally appropriate data descriptions and management plans for new and existing cultural heritage, biological, and genomic resource collections.

Our Vision

A digital environment in which Indigenous Communities exercise authority and sovereign rights over their intellectual property, cultural and other heritage, genetic resources, and knowledge.

Our Mission

Local Contexts supports Indigenous data sovereignty by creating a digital infrastructure for community governance of Indigenous data. Through our technical platform and services, we aim to create effective and recognized pathways for implementing and maintaining Indigenous data rights and facilitate ethical relationships and enable collaboration with stewards of Indigenous collections.

Our Values

  • Sovereignty
  • Transparency
  • Trustworthiness
  • Accountability
  • Utility
  • Authority
  • Generational Sustainability

Our Organization

Aligned with our mission and values, in 2022 Local Contexts was incorporated as a non-profit organization under the laws and jurisdiction of the Navajo Nation and are recognized as a 501(c)3 non-profit entity with the US Internal Revenue Service.

Our Council

The Local Contexts Council is responsible for the strategic framework that ensures the organization’s activities reflect its values and drive its mission success. Currently, the Council includes founders of Local Contexts as Charter Members, as well as invited community members. We will transition to an elected Council in 2023, when we put in place our Member and Subscriber policies. At that point, Member representatives are eligible to serve on Council through a nominations and elections process.

Council Responsibilities

The Council is supported by staff who work with the Council on management of Local Contexts programs. We strive for maximum transparency by posting summaries of our Council meetings and we commit to posting our annual IRS Form 990 financial reports.

Founding Council Members

James Francis, Sr.


Jane Anderson

Vice Chair

Maui Hudson

Kim Christen

Laure Haak

Secretary (non-voting)

Edwin Oh

Treasurer (non-voting)

Sharon Leon

Council Community Member

Headshot of Hadyn Read

Haydn Read

Council Community Member

Our Core Principles

1. We prioritize Indigenous sovereignty and ethical data governance. Our work transcends discipline, geographic, national, and institutional boundaries.

2. We have responsibilities and obligations to support Indigenous peoples, communities, and organizations and strive for maximal engagement aligned with our core values.

3. Our platform and services are designed to enable Indigenous community adoption and direct and indirect benefits to Indigenous peoples.

4. We encourage partnership between Local Contexts and those interested in Indigenous sovereignty, data sovereignty, intellectual property, and community management of cultural and other heritage, genetic resources, and community knowledge.

5. We devise creative solutions that meet Indigenous community needs and acknowledge the contexts in which we work.

Related Links

Council Policies
Council Meeting Summaries
Certificate of Incorporation
Articles of Incorporation