Volume 1 | May 12, 2020
NM Native Census Coalition l Bulletin No. 5
U.S. Census Bureau announces field operations to start in June
On April 28, the U.S. Census Bureau the New Mexico Tribal Partnership Specialists attended a NMNCC meeting to announce that the Census Bureau has plans to begin Update Leave, the process of updating addresses and leaving a Census form, starting June 13. The plans are, however contingent on tribal access and tribal sovereignty. The health and safety of all tribes are paramount during this time.

The Tribal Partnership Specialists, who aid the Northern and Southern Pueblos in New Mexico, stated that those tribal residents who have already completed the Census without the unique 12-digit ID number will have to complete the Census again when they receive the paper form with the 12-digit number. The Census Bureau has created a flyer explaining the importance of using the 12-digit ID number when responding to the Census.

An updated timeline is also available on the Census Bureau website.

In preparation of these activities, we are working to create support materials, including updating the "You Did Not Miss the Census" flyer to the "Census is Coming." Both flyers can be edited to fit your community and allow you to include your tribal logo. They can be downloaded here under the NM Native Census tab.

The NMNCC will have a meeting at 9 am this Friday, May 15 with updates. The U.S. Census Bureau will host a listening session also on Friday. Details are below.
2020 Census Listening Session
The U.S. Census Bureau is hosting a listening session with federally- and state-recognized tribes and AIAN organizations across the country from 3 – 4:30 pm EST on Friday, May 15.

The Bureau will provide an update on 2020 Decennial Operations, the 2020 Disclosure Avoidance System (DAS) and the geographic hierarchy of DAS. The DAS is a new, advanced and more powerful confidentiality protection system than previously used that employs a rigorous mathematical process to protect respondents’ information and identity.

Click here to participate in the webinar. And to dial-in to join the audio conference portion of the webinar, please call 1-888-989-7592 with passcode: 6547188. If prompted when logging into WebEx, password is census .

For questions, contact Dee Alexander at (301) 763-9335 or ocia.tao@census.gov.
NAVAEP seeks Tribes for WiFi Hotspot Program
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the NAVA Education Project in partnership with the Santa Fe Indian School has created the New Mexico Tribal Hotspot Program to provide mobile WiFi hotspots in Tribal communities. The hotspots will connect to existing Tribal broadband networks, such as those established networks at Tribal libraries, which may be now closed to stop the spread of the highly contagious virus.

The hotspots will provide internet service in preparation of the U.S. Census Bureau resuming field operations, Update Leave or the delivery of census forms to homes on Tribal land in June. The hotspots may also aid in voter registration or absentee voting as 2020 it is a presidential election year, or aid in telehealth consultations. Read more.
Taking Place in Our Place
Opinion Column
By Brittany Schulman, Waccamaw Siouan
Albuquerque Urban Native Complete Count Committee

We were not supposed to be here.

If you look at census records from the late 1800s to early 1900s in southeastern North Carolina, you can see many discrepancies, particularly in regard to race. Native Americans were listed as Indian on one Census, 10 years later they are listed a Mulatto and 10 years after that they are listed as Indian, again. (Mulatto is a dated term referring to a person of mixed white and black ancestry.) This happened a lot. This happened because the federal government sent a census taker, usually someone who was not a member of the community, to find out who lived where. Some census takers were thorough and went house to house; others would literally stop by a field or find a community representative to tell them where people lived. As far as the race question, sometimes they would make their own determination based on how the people looked. You have to remember this was after the Trail of Tears and Native Americans east of the Mississippi were not supposed to be here.

But we were. Read more .
Completion of the Census for Urban Natives is accounting for all our communities
Now is the time, more than ever to respond to the 2020 Census. The burden is on us to show up for all our people, including those on our homelands who cannot respond at this time.

Nearly 78% of the Native population is now based in urban areas, according to the 2010 Census. In the City of Albuquerque alone it is estimated that over 400 tribes are represented. The city is also sixth in the nation with the highest number of Native American residents.

Currently, Albuquerque is at a 57% Census response rate and the State of New Mexico is coming in at a 46% response rate due to our high rural and tribal communities who have not had the chance to respond. 

In essence, your count is not only a count for the community you live in but also a count for your Tribal Nation. Here’s what you can do to support: 

  • Send monthly reminders to your network via social media, newsletters, or email with a link to respond online, over the phone, or via mail.
  • Add any virtual events and mention the importance of responding to the Census and link to the NMNCCC website or link or tag us on our social channels.
  • Like, follow, subscribe or tag us via on our NMNCC Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to cross-promote efforts with your organization.
  • Serve as a trusted messenger, a Native leader and representative of the community you serve -- your voice can support all of our people to understand the need and urgency to respond.

We, the Albuquerque Urban Native Complete Count Committee, want to implore the urgency and importance of our urban Native population to respond to the 2020 Census because the impact is monumental. This is not only a time to represent our communities in the urban space but this is also representation of our Tribal Nations.
The NM Native Census Coalition is a product of the NAVA Education Project.