Looking back, looking ahead: The ELOKA Program at 15 years
The Exchange for Local Observations and Knowledge of the Arctic (ELOKA) partners with Indigenous organizations and researchers to facilitate the collection, preservation, exchange, and use of Indigenous Knowledge and community-based observations. ELOKA was initiated in 2006/2007 during the International Polar Year to address a gap in resources and support for data management focusing on Indigenous Knowledge and Arctic community data. Since then, Arctic research has undergone a period of significant change, with a growing emphasis on community-led research and co-production of knowledge. Fifteen years since its founding, ELOKA is beginning a new five-year period of collaborative work with new and existing partners from across the Arctic funded by the National Science Foundation. This presentation will summarize ELOKA’s progress and challenges over the past fifteen years, situating them in the larger context of a changing research environment. We will share an overview of the ELOKA community data management (CDM) system and protocol as well as plans for the next phase of ELOKA’s work focusing on understanding and enhancing the use and usability of CDM infrastructures. This includes co-developing use cases of specific data products with partners, convening two thematic working groups to exchange approaches and ideas, and collaborative development of a use and usability framework for community data management. ELOKA’s collaborative effort to develop a usability framework will broadly consider how cross-cultural sharing, storytelling, data sovereignty protocols, and capacity building may strengthen the use and dissemination of community data.