Become An Advocate for Native Education
Be Counted in the Census
Indian Country Is Counting on You to Participate!
Indian Country Depends on the Census for Important Funding
Every decade, the most undercounted demographic as defined by the Census Bureau is American Indians. The obstacles compounding undercounting Native people is the diversity of Native peoples themselves as well as geographic isolation of many Native families and tribes.
The 2010 Census undercounted Native peoples by approximately 5% on reservations and by nearly 12% of Natives living outside of their reservations. Specific cities, like New York City, estimated that the initial undercount of Natives in its 2010 Census was closer to 23%. This significant undercount continually costs Native Americans in federal allocations for funding that would benefit their communities, including healthcare, schools, infrastructure, and even the loss of political representation.
The Census 2020 count began earlier this year and is further complicated by its heavy reliance on a digital questionnaire (online). Numerous reservation communities lack broadband infrastructure and many Native families cannot afford the cost of internet even when infrastructure exists. There are language barriers to overcome among many tribal elders. And access to the post office is often far away, while physical visits by Census-takers have been suspended until a later date to be announced due to COVID19.
These are a but a few of the obstacles Natives face in completing the Census. But Native people are resilient and strong, and Indian Country needs you now more than ever. Ensure you are counted! The 2020 Census will determine the allocation of congressional seats, redistricting for voting, and may impact the distribution of almost $1 billion in annual federal resources for Indian Country.
How you can help:
- If you have Internet service, complete the 2020 Census online. Offer to help others in your extended family and community complete the Census online.
- Offer to help elders with limited language skills to complete their 2020 mail-in Census forms.
- Offer to deliver and mail 2020 Census forms at the post office for community members who lack transportation.
- Promote the 2020 Census within your communities.
- Last but not least, call your member of Congress and advocate for emergency funding for the United States Postal Service (USPS). For many Native reservations and rural communities, the USPS is the only option for submitting their 2020 Census form (in addition to providing vital delivery for goods, medications, and more).
The National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) posted its 2020 census toolkit to provide guidance for all Natives completing their 2020 Census forms. Check it out here.
The National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) posted its 2020 census toolkit to provide guidance for all Natives completing their 2020 Census forms.
Make Your Vote Count!
Native Voices Need to Be Heard!
You must REGISTER to vote to be able to vote! If you are unsure if you are already registered to vote, you can check your registration status here.
The American Indian College Fund has created a handy chart below with links for voter registration information for every state. Just follow these three steps:
Now you are ready to vote on Election Day, Tuesday, November 3.
More ways you can participate:
Encourage your friends and family to vote.
Cast your vote by mail or at your polling station.
Offer to drive friends, family, and elders to the polls or help them mail their ballots.
Make Your Voice Count!
Learn How to Advocate for Natives and Native Communities.
Join us for a free webinar on advocacy for issues in Indian Country.
July 2, 2020
Inspiring activism and transforming society with Twyla Baker, #INDIGENIA
Watch this space for upcoming webinars by Native leaders on the following important topics:
- Native Vote and Census
- Dialogue on Activism: From Joy to Direct Action
- Community Policing and Public Safety
- Visibility and Eliminating Harmful Mascots
- Transforming Systems Through Legislative Action
- Conversing about Race