APCG: We Count, Now And Beyond The Next Decade

By All Pueblo Council of Governors

The impacts of past census counts are evident in almost every Tribal community across the nation. Bustling clinics, lively Head Start schools, and much needed housing developments show that the Census does have a real impact on Native American tribes.

Federal decision-makers use the data collected by the Census to disperse millions of dollars to the state and to our Tribal communities.

A Census count occurs every decade and it is not an exaggeration to say the 2020 Census may be the most important yet, not only for us but for future generations as we work to address an ongoing global pandemic.

As tribal members, it is in keeping with our values that we come together to help our families and our fellow community members in the face of monumental obstacles. This year has had it’s share of challenges for tribes all over the nation but it has also reminded us that in the face of hardship it is together that we strengthen our communities. It is our collective duty as Tribal members to fill out the 2020 Census, either by hand, over the phone, or online.

As the deadline for the 2020 Census draws near, we hope that every tribal household participates in the count. By completing the simple 10 question long Census, we are giving our communities power to help each individual tribal member receive the benefits and care we all deserve. It is important that we understand that for every tribal member that is not counted $5,000 is lost in funding. Over the course of 10 years that loss translates to $50,000 for each Tribal member not counted. That is a loss none of our communities can afford.

Like many of the challenges we have faced, not only over the course of this year but throughout our history as Native Americans, we have proudly persevered and flourished. Tribes in New Mexico have not only built our own successful economies but have become essential to the State’s own economy and strong influences in local, state, and national policy decision-making.

As Pueblo leaders, we are urging our Tribal members to complete the 2020 Census and help us emphasize to policy-makers that we are still here and WE COUNT, now and well beyond the next decade.