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Action Alert: Make Sure You’re Counted!

Be Counted! Make Sure You’re Represented in the 2020 U.S. Census

Native communities are at risk of being further overlooked and under-represented by the U.S. government. In the last census, it is estimated that American Indians living on reservations and Alaska Natives living in villages were undercounted by as much as 4.9% – more than double the undercount rate of the next closest population group. 

Why does this matter?
Not being counted accurately can bring grave implications for Indian Country, as population numbers and characteristics are used to determine:
  • How many governmental and private sector resources are made available
  • How districts lines are drawn and congressional seats are allocated
  • How much federal assistance is provided to states, localities and families
  • And how communities make decisions about schools, housing, health care, and economic development
Action is needed right now!
The federal census takes place every 10 years, and even through a global pandemic, the 2020 US Census is still on. Accurate numbers – made possible only through the census – are used to allocate the nearly $1 billion in annual federal resources designated for Indian Country. Here are three actions to take:
  1. Respond. If you haven’t done so already, complete the questionnaire now. This can be done online, by phone or by mail. The U.S. Census 2020 website has a link to the questionnaire plus resources designed specifically for Tribal governments.
  2. Spread the word. While there is much distrust surrounding actions of the Federal Government (for good reason), the Census is private and secure. Check the facts and encourage those in your community to respond and be counted.
  3. Demand fair time. There can be many barriers to responding to the U.S. Census, and those obstacles are even greater during a pandemic. Right now, the due date is being pushed up one full month earlier than the original October 31 deadline. This additional demand on Native communities can greatly affect resources and visibility in the future. Send a letter through the Native Voice Network to insist the US Census Bureau completes an accurate and fair count within its original timeline.
The U.S. Census is an essential process and the results are imperative in getting Native communities the resources they deserve. It’s not too late and your voice is essential. Act now – be counted and be visible!