The 2010 Census and Natives (information)

Indian Country Counts
Be Counted - Complete the Census
It is Important to You and Your Tribe

Reasons to participate in the Census:
  • The federal government distributes approximately $300 billion to local, state and Tribal
  • governments based on the Census.
  • The population totals from this census will determine the number of seats each state has in the House of Representatives.
  • The totals are also used to redraw legislative districts.
How it works:
  • Census questionnaire will come in the mail with a return postage-paid envelope.
  • Questionnaires will be mailed out between February 2010 and the end of March 2010.
  • Census Day is April 1, 2010. Complete your questionnaire on April 1, 2010.
  • It’s easy! Fill it out and mail it back!
Additional Facts:
  • The census questionnaire has only 10 questions per person living in your home and takes only 10 minutes to complete? It’s the shortest in history.
  • One last thing: Strict confidentiality laws protect the confidentiality of respondents and the information they provide.
American Indians Count, but only if the questionnaire is completed correctly:
  • Page 1, Question 5, “1st Adult in House”
  • Always list the adult Indian spouse or household member as the “1st Adult” (not the non-Indian), regardless of who is the husband or wife, or wage earner, etc.
  • Page 1, Question 8 “Hispanic” always check “NO”
  • Page 1, Question 9 “Race” Check American Indian/Alaska Native ONLY. Do NOT check any other race.
  • Page 2 and on-List all other household members here, including non-Indian spouses and others in household

Census 2010 (information)

Mark Krikorian of the Center for Immigration Studies and I have been talking on at NRO’s The Corner about the Census form and the particularly obnoxious Question 9 asking the person’s “race.” Mark sent his form in after marking the option for “Some other race” and writing in “American” and he had a column in USA Today about it. As I pointed out, federal law specifies that you can be fined if you either don’t answer ($100 per question) or provide a false answer ($500 per question). So the question arises whether Mark’s answer could get him in trouble.

There is no question that the bureaucrats at the Census Bureau will not like that answer. It is likely that one of their temporary workers will call Mark or actually pay a visit to his residence if they cannot get hold of him or he refuses to change his answer on the phone. If they still can’t get the kind of answer they want, they apparently will just impute his race based on what he looks like or where he lives – a practice that means the Census will be filled with questionable, inaccurate data. It is also highly-offensive racial stereotyping and profiling in a society where so many of us are of mixed race and ancestry. In a report it issued on the 2010 Census, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights recommended that the race question be made voluntary like religious affiliation questions (see 13 U.S.C. § 221(c)) and that individuals be able to provide whatever answer they think is most appropriate for their race, ethnicity or ancestry.

Under current law, the real question that arises is whether the Census Bureau could win a case against someone it decides to prosecute for answering “American.” This is a very interesting issue and it may be one the Bureau really does not want to face in court. Why? Because their question on race and the choices provided is a conglomeration of political correctness and half-baked, liberal social policy theories and assumptions that have absolutely nothing to do with hard science, biology and genetics.

For example, the question asks for your race, yet it then gives you a number of choices like Japanese, Korean and Vietnamese that are nationalities based on ancestry, not racial categories. Or they are geographically-based terms – one of the choices is “Guamanian or Chamorro,” terms that refer to the residents of the Mariana Islands, which includes the American territory of Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Island in Micronesia. Question 8 on the Census form, which asks whether a person is “of Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin,” even uses totally made-up terms like “Chicano,” which has no scientifically-based meaning. It is just an ethnic label that became popular in the 1960’s as part of the radical Chicano movement.

The Encyclopedia Britannica says that scientists do not agree on the number of races that exist, nor “the features to be used in the identification of races, or the meaning of race itself…Thus, race has never in the history of its use had a precise meaning…[and] modern researchers have concluded that the concept of race has no biological validity.” So if your official choice on the form includes different kinds of nationalities in the answer to Question 9, then one could try to convince a judge that being “American” is just as valid a choice of nationalities. This is particularly true since the Census relies on self-identification.

Most people have no idea what their real “race” is since that would require genetic research and tracking back your ancestors through many generations. If I look white but have a great-great-great-grandmother who was an American Indian, can the Census Bureau contest my marking the American Indian category? If I have ancestors that were white, black, and American Indian, what am I supposed to choose? “American” seems the best way to describe the polyglot background that so many of us have. Or is the Census Bureau going to analyze how many drops of my blood are traceable to a particular racial or ethnic category the way Southern states did during Jim Crow?

There may have been a reason to collect racial information in 1850 when many nonwhites were only counted as 3/5’s of a person for reapportionment and tax purposes, but it is questionable whether the data should be collected today. On the one hand, there is no doubt the racial information will be used for pernicious reasons during redistricting and the distribution of federal largesse. On the other hand, it can also be used as evidence to combat those who claim that this nation has made no racial progress over the past 40 years, a claim that is completely untrue. As with a lot of things, it is a very mixed bag of bad and good. But I agree with Ward Connerly when he testified before the Commission on Civil Rights that classifying and subdividing Americans is “repugnant, ‘inhuman’ to use the characterization of Nelson Mandela, and socially regressive for a nation that proclaims as its creed ‘one nation, indivisible.’”

Native American America (information)

Native American America
Copyright © 2010 by Rod Van Mechelen; may be reprinted and distributed in its entirety with attribution to the author. 

We can change the complexion of the conversation about racism
If every American who is "part-Indian" checked "American Indian or Alaska Native" on question 9 of the 2010 Census, and wrote in the tribe from which they are descended, as their "Principal Tribe," this would change the complexion of the conversation about racism in America.

For generations, many nations, and even many Americans, have claimed that America is racist because it is numerically dominated by White people. But by some estimates, more than half of all Americans today are "part-Indian." And by the criteria that apply to Asians, Blacks and Hispanics, all of those "part-Indian" Americans are Native Americans.

These criteria have nothing to do with tribal enrollment, but with ancestry and self-identity. So in reality, America might be "dominated" by Native American Indians. If that is the case, then all those people who claim America is a racist nation will have to rethink their position.

The genocidal history behind "part-Indian"
According to the US Census Bureau, Table 6, Resident Population by Sex, Race, and Hispanic-Origin Status: 2000 to 2007, 4,537,000 Americans reported being American Indian. In a 2007 population of 301,621,000, that represents 1.5% of the total, making American Indians one of the smallest minority groups.

Yet, millions of Americans claim to be "part-Indian." (Because so many identify as Cherokee, this has given rise to the joke: "Isn't everybody Cherokee?")

You don't find people claiming to be "part-Black" or "part-White." President Barack Obama, for example. He is half-Black and half-White, but everybody identifies him as Black, and history will remember him as America's first African-American president.

Why is this? Why do we identify some people as "part-Indians"? The reason is genocide.

During the 19th Century one of the federal government's policies that is very racist by our current standards was that full blooded Indians were Indian, half-blood Indians were "half breeds," and anything less was a "part-Indian" White, Black or Asian.

Being "part-Indian" meant they were not Indian, which meant that they could be disenfranchised from their native heritage and inheritance, because Indians, in those days, had neither citizenship nor property rights. (Those feminists who complain about the "historic oppression" of women, as demonstrated by how long it took for women to get the vote, generally ignore that women got the vote years before American Indians did.)

Federal agents promoted the use of the term, "part-Indian," and it became part of the common vernacular. As a consequence, millions of Americans today are disenfranchised from their native roots.

Hence, it is extremely common to hear an Asian, Black or Caucasian American say, "I'm part-Indian, but I can't prove it," or words to that effect. Fortunately, no proof of Native American descent is required on the Federal Census.

Nobody will demand proof. Tribal enrollment is not required. The Census is about how you identify yourself.

Why should we do this?
For most Americans, the reasons have to do with national identity and changing the complexion of the conversation about racism.

From its inception, America has had native roots. The assertion that the American Constitution is based on the Constitution of the Iroquois Confederacy is very debatable. But there can be no doubt that it influenced the founding fathers.

Moreover, American liberty was inspired by the liberty enjoyed by most Native American Indian tribes. Stories of this liberty inspired people around the world long before the American Revolution.

America's native roots run deep, yet more Irish-Americans feel connected to their Irish roots than America's "part-Indians" do to theirs.

There is an old observation that there are more Irish in America than there are in Ireland. Similarly, there are more Indians in America than there are members of Indian tribes.

Through the generations, most Native Americans have drifted away from the tribe(s) of their ancestors; yet, most Americans of native descent still feel some connection to their ancient heritage.

If millions of Americans reclaim their Native roots in the US Census, it will send a message around the world and to future generations that we are not a racist nation, but remember our native roots and are proud of it.

Why should American Indian tribes support this?
Officially, American Indians comprise only about 1.5% of the American population. Our "crunchy" conservatism is largely ignored because as a demographic we are perceived to be small.

But if it were known that 150 million or more Americans consider themselves to be Native American Indians, then our values, virtues and principles would be taken far more seriously.

And because there is a big difference between being counted as a Native American and being an enrolled member of a tribe, there is no reason why Indian tribes should not support this.

Taking pride in America
Every nation, great and small, has a variegated past. Some are dark, some are light, but few if any have so intentionally set out to be a beacon of hope for the world as America has.

As a nation we frequently fall short, but there remains so very much in which we can take pride. That includes our Native roots. As a nation, we should remember that, declare it and embrace it. The first step is through the US Census.

Every American who is "part-Indian" can begin this process by identifying themselves as "American Indian or Alaska Native" on question 9 of the 2010 Census, and writing in the principal tribe from which they are descended.


Please forward any comments, suggestions or articles to me at: If you send me things you want posted please include clear contact information so people can have direct information on how and where to apply, get more info etc.

Thank you for being part of the communication pipeline serving American Indian people.

Native Hate Crime (information)

Longhouse Media condemns illegal use of "March Point" photo in hate crime Native leaders in U.S and Canada demand protections for Native youth

SEATTLE -- Longhouse Media Executive Director Tracy Rector today condemned the illegal use of a copyrighted photo of three teenagers from the Swinomish, Grand Ronde, and Lummi Tribes in Washington that was used in a hate crime against First Nations and Native American youth.

"We are appalled by the use of our image for such hateful and demeaning purposes," said Rector, responding to an advertisement that appeared on a Canadian online news site. "The photo of the three adolescent boys was taken from promotional material for our film March Point, an award-winning documentary," said Rector. "The film was made with three young filmmakers and tells the story of their coming of age struggles in a Native American community in the U.S. That this image would be used for such deviant ends is deeply hurtful to these young men and their families, and to the Native community as a whole."

The advertisement headlined "Free Native Extraction Service" was placed on the website. The website is managed by Victoria-based company called Black Press. They operate a network of websites (47 in total) under the brand.

Referring to Native youth, it began: "Have you ever had the experience of getting home to find those pesky little buggers hanging outside your home, in the back alley or on the corner???" It goes on to offer "free extraction services to relocate them to their habitat," and continues with other offensive remarks.

"We condemn this as a hate crime, and will join with others to see the perpetrators are brought to justice," said Rector. "This ad could intimidate and incite violence against indigenous youth in North America, and we are joining with Manitoba Chiefs to call for an end to hate crimes such as these. We must all stand together to protect our youth."

Chairman Brian Cladoosby of the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community said, "We are saddened by the fact that some people still harbor extreme hatred toward Native people as this advertisement demonstrates. But we are also encouraged that many more people recognize this as a racist attack on a generation of Native American youth who for the most part are law-abiding citizens striving to overcome generations of poverty and oppression, and live productive lives. We hope that calmer heads prevail and that the individuals responsible for posting this ad are prosecuted to the full extent of the law."

While not an act of physical violence, it is one of intimidation and threat. According to the Criminal Code of Canada, "a hate crime is committed to intimidate, harm or terrify not only a person, but an entire group of people to which the victim belongs. The victims are targeted for who they are, not because of anything they have done. Hate crimes involve intimidation, harassment, physical force or threat of physical force against a person, a family or a property." Section 319(1): Public Incitement of Hatred, Criminal Code of Canada


Author and poet Sherman Alexie, a founding board member of Longhouse Media from the Spokane and Coeur d'Alene Tribes also spoke out, saying, "As much as the world has changed for indigenous people in good ways, there are still many violent and hateful folks out there who seek to harm us, and we must condemn them in print and in action, and we must do this together."


Reporters, for more information please contact:

Tracy Rector: 206.387.2468

Valerie Taliman 505.270.3092

Link to Longhouse Media website: 

Link to story about advertisement: 

link to Manitoba Chief video 

March Point link: 

March Point trailer:

------- wahjeh rolland nadjiwon

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Support California Indians and the 2010 Census (info)

We are California Indian and We Count!
My name is Joely Proudfit. As the consultant for the AIAN LA Region 2010 Census, I have helped develop an interactive Web site to update, share, and encourage your participation in the 2010 Census.

We have a number of features on the site, including Public Service Announcements featuring numerous tribal leaders from our region. You can download up-to-date Census News, tools and resources here, too. 

California is too important to have an undercount. We are home to the largest number of tribal governments, and we have the largest population of urban Indians. Whether you are from a tribe in California or a Native American residing in California, you must be part of the decisions made about our communities and our land. Stand and be counted in the 2010 Census for your people, for your future.
You can also follow us on twitter:

Joely Proudfit, Ph.D.,2010 AIAN Census Consultant