Counted Out, North Dakota Working With Tribal Communities On Census
FARGO N.D. — With the 2020 Census right around the corner, North Dakota is putting together a task force to help make sure this time around that tribal communities are correctly accounted for.
“And to make sure that we in the state have a good idea and a good handle on how to communicate the importance of census 2020 to that population,”Manager Census Office, North Dakota Department Of Commerce Keith Iverson said.
The department is also trying to correct some misconceptions.
“That this information would be used against them in some way for instance if they had more individuals in the household, then they’re supposed to by whatever rules are enforced, and they were worried that being honest in the census would come back to hurt them,” Says Iverson.
The payout for tribal communities can make a massive difference.
“For American Indians, it could have an impact of 3 thousand dollars per person,” Said Iverson
All that cash is desperately needed.
“It’s so important that tribal communities that received proper funding that they can address social determinants of health such as housing and economic access to health care,” North Dakota Representative Ruth Buffalo Said.
It’s also significant for economic growth.
“Businesses can also use census data to help determine where to open a place to shop or a place of new business,” Said Rep. Buffalo
But Representative Buffalo is optimistic about the count.
“I think the lack of trust is going to be a huge hurdle to overcome, but I believe we can do that, but it’s going to take time, it’s not going to happen overnight,” Says Rep. Buffalo