Billy Mills Calls for Native American Communities to Be Counted, Reinstate 2020 Census Deadline
Running Strong for American Indian Youth delivers 2,027 signatures to Senate leadership to reinstate Census deadline extension
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Olympic Gold Medalist and Running Strong for American Indian Youth National Spokesperson Billy Mills delivered 2,027 signatures to the U.S. Senate calling for the 2020 Census deadline to be reinstated to its extension date of October 31, 2020.
“The Census is one of the most valuable tools for change and representation in Indian Country,” said Billy Mills (Oglala Lakota). “Our Native American communities deserve to be counted and heard.”
In early August the U.S. Census Bureau announced their decision to move the 2020 Census reporting date up to September 30, 2020, citing costs and logistical difficulty due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, Native Voices Network projects the new deadline could mean up to $1 billion in lost federal funding for Indian Country annually, as well as even more losses due to non-federal grants and other programming opportunities which rely on Census data to determine funding levels.
“COVID-19 obviously hindered our events,” said Cheryl Kary, director of Sacred Pipe Resource Center, a center for Native American support in Mandan, ND. Sacred Pipe Resource Center is a program partner of Running Strong for American Indian Youth and one of the many non-profit organizations involved in grassroots tribal community counting efforts. “We are able to provide information, however, in preparation for self-response events later this summer. Despite [COVID-19] we will continue outreach efforts as safely as possible when opportunities arise.”
Running Strong for American Indian Youth works to help Native American communities meet their immediate critical needs. To learn more about our programs visit the Running Strong site at www.indianyouth.org or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.