The First Nations principles of OCAP® are a set of standards that establish how First Nations data should be collected, protected, used, or shared. They were established by a National Steering Committee of the First Nations and Inuit Regional Longitudinal Health Survey. OCAP® asserts that First Nations have control over data collection processes in their communities, and that they own and control how this information can be used.
OCAP stands for:
- Ownership: refers to the relationship of First Nations to their cultural knowledge, data, and information. This principle states that a community or group owns information collectively in the same way that an individual owns his or her personal information.
- Control: affirms that First Nations, their communities, and representative bodies are within their rights in seeking to control over all aspects of research and information management processes that impact them. First Nations control of research can include all stages of a particular research project-from start to finish. The principle extends to the control of resources and review processes, the planning process, management of the information and so on.
- Access: refers to the fact that First Nations must have access to information and data about themselves and their communities regardless of where it is held. The principle of access also refers to the right of First Nations communities and organizations to manage and make decisions regarding access to their collective information. This may be achieved, in practice, through standardized, formal protocols.
- Possession: While ownership identifies the relationship between a people and their information in principle, possession or stewardship is more concrete: it refers to the physical control of data. Possession is the mechanism by which ownership can be asserted and protected.