Census 2000: Whats At Stake for the Alaska Natives and American Indian Community
In 1990, American Indians living on reservations had a higher undercount than any other population in the nation. While the national undercount was 1.6 percent, an estimated 12.2 percent of the American Indians living on the reservations were missed nationwide in 1990. Included in this undercount were over 21,000 AmericanIndians in Arizona; over 8,000 in California; over 2,300 in Minnesota; 4,800 in Montana;over 13,000 in New Mexico; over 6,000 in Oklahoma; and over 5,000in South Dakota.
American Indians will be unfairly impacted if the 2000 Census is inaccurate. Census data are the basis for virtually all demographic information used by educators, policy makers, and community leaders and directly affect funding for many programs critical to the American Indian community.
Accurate Census Information is Critical to a Number of Initiatives:
- To enforce provisions under the Civil Rights Act prohibiting discrimination based upon race, sex, religion, and national origin.
- To assist Indian Health Service to assess health-related racial disparities for American Indians.
- To help the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) to evaluate social and economic progress among Indians on reservations, the quality of housing and other infrastructure needs.
- To fund employment skills development programs through the Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA) and the Native American Employment and Training Program.
- To distribute grants to Local Education Agencies for Indian Education programs geared towards elementary and secondary education programs in Indian country.
- To monitor and enforce provisions under the Voting Rights Act.
- To fund Urban Indian Health Service, Special Programs for the Aging-Title VI grants for Indian Tribes and Family Violence Prevention Services under the Department of Health and Human Services.
- To provide funding for Indian Housing Block Grants and Indian Community Development Block Grant Programs which provide grants for low income housing needs in the American Indian and Alaskan Native communities.