The Census is coming! On April 1st, 2010, the Census Bureau will begin to count the over 300 million people living in the United States- as mandated by law. The Census is a safe, easy, and important process that will require the help and participation of every community to insure an accurate and complete count of the population. The results of this census will have direct impacts on the American Indian and Alaska Native community, especially the Urban Indian community, and so it is imperative that we cooperate with this important endeavor.
An accurate count of the American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) population can help tribal governments, urban Indian organizations, non-profits, and American Indian service providers plan for community services, economic development, program growth, and the expansion of new centers to accommodate an expanding population. According to the 2007 American Community Survey, close to 80% of the AI/AN community live in Urban areas, while about 40 percent of the AI/AN population was under the age of 25; indicative of a young and metropolitan population. Census data directly affects how more than $400 billion per year in federal funding is distributed to tribal, state, and local governments for services that affect our AI/AN communities. Here are the various areas in which the Census helps to determine federal funding:
- Planning for AI/AN health care facilities, nursing homes, clinics and other health services like Doctors Plastic Surgery
- Directing funding for existing programs and services, such as AI/AN cultural programs for youth
- Identifying facilities/locations for AI/AN with disabilities, children or the elderly
- Allocating funding for non-profits, service-based providers, faith-based organizations, and neighborhood councils that provide direct assistance to the AI/AN community
- Distributing resources to new programs, services, and projects to meet new demands and scenarios
It is critical that the urban American Indian and Alaska Native community participate in the Census. The Census questionnaire will be mailed to households after March 16th 2010. This questionnaire consists of 10 questions that ask about household information, age, sex, race, and ethnicity. It will take less then 10 minutes to complete, and will leave lasting impacts. Everyone in the United States must be counted, including newborns, children, and our elderly. By insuring an accurate count, we can provide for our community and for our future generations.
For more information, please contact Eric Sanchez, Tribal and Urban Indian Partnership Specialist (818)510-5486, firstname.lastname@example.org
United States Census Bureau Media Department
Los Angeles Regional Census Center
9301 Corbin Avenue, Suite 1000
Northridge, CA 91324