We at Running Strong for American Indian Youth are pleased to report that the deadline to submit forms for the 2020 U.S. Census has been restored to its original date of October 31 to help ensure that all Native Americans have the opportunity to complete theirs.
As Native Americans throughout Indian Country, especially on vast, rural reservations, have traditionally been severely undercounted for generations, these additional days and weeks will make a big difference.
It is estimated that for each individual counted, the result is an additional approximately $2,000 per person per year over the course of the 10-year census period, meaning a total of $20,000 for each person for tribal governments to spend on roads, schools, healthcare and other vital services, as well as ensuring proper representation in Congress.
At the beginning of the year, Running Strong provided several of our partners with Chromebooks to assist them in their efforts to encourage all those in their communities file their census forms in areas where broadband internet service is spotty at best.
And with the census survey is coming to a close, we are pleased to report roughly 700 Native American families were able to complete their census forms (something they likely would not have done on their own) with the help of our partners as of early October.
Our affiliate on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota, the Oyate Teca Project, encouraged and assisted 70 participants by providing a raffle for a big screen TV as an incentive for completing their census form.
In South Carolina, the Catawba Indian Nation, was able to have 200 of its members complete their census forms which will result in $4 million added to its coffers over the next 10 years.
And in North Dakota, our partner, the Sacred Pipe Resource Center, registered 350 households through our “Beat the Drum. Be Counted!” initiative.
“Thanks again so much to Running Strong,” stated Sacred Pipe executive director Cheryl Kary. “These are weird times, but you guys are always so responsive to our needs. It’s awesome!”
And thanks to the supporters of Running Strong who made our census initiative possible, $14 million will be justly allocated throughout Indian Country over the next 10 years, and we will not stop until as many Native American households complete their census forms by the October 31 deadline.