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The U.S. Census Bureau today began mailing advance informational booklets to all federally recognized tribal governments asking for assistance in providing updated addresses for their reservations and off-reservation trust lands. This early, concerted effort is part of the Census Bureau’s plan to make the 2010 Census as accurate as possible.
A complete address list is essential to an accurate count of everyone living on reservations and off-reservation trust lands in 2010.
"The Census Bureau has a constitutional mandate to count everyone living in the United States, count them only once, and count them in the right place,” said Census Bureau Deputy Director Preston Jay Waite. “Developing an accurate and up-to-date Master Address File is the first and most vital stage of the decennial census process, ensuring that people residing at the addresses listed in the file will be counted in 2010."
In partnership with the Census Bureau, tribal governments will use their local knowledge to improve the addresses for housing units, group quarters addresses and new housing developments within their reservations and trust lands. Addresses located on federally recognized reservations and trust lands will be provided for review only to the associated tribal government.
"The Census Bureau is committed to working with tribal governments to obtain a complete count of American Indians in 2010" Waite said. "Since Census 2000, the Census Bureau has become more aware of tribal and cultural issues that may affect the upcoming census operations at the local level."
The Cheyenne River Reservation in South Dakota was one of only two sites nationwide selected by the Census Bureau to participate in a 2006 Census Test designed to improve counting methods for the 2010 Census. Additionally, the Census Bureau plans to conduct a series of American Indian and Alaska Native consultation meetings this year with federally recognized tribes across the country in preparation for the 2010 Census.
"Decennial census data directly affects how federal agencies make funding decisions for programs designed to assist American Indian and Alaska Native people," said Gregory Richardson, chair of the Census Bureau's Advisory Committee on the American Indian and Alaska Native populations. "Participation in the Local Update of Census Addresses (LUCA) program is the first crucial step tribal leaders must take to obtain an accurate count of our people."
Dating back to the nation's first census in 1790, the 2010 Census will have one of the shortest census questionnaires in the history of the United States. Asking just seven or so questions of all residents, the census will take most households about ten minutes to fill out and will result in a simpler, less costly and more accurate census.
The information contained in the address list is confidential by law. Those who choose to participate and review the address list must take an oath to protect the information they collect. Like all census employees, those who review and update a confidential address list are subject to a jail term, a fine or both if they disclose any protected information.
For more information, visit the 2010 Census LUCA Program at <http://www.census.gov/geo/www/luca2010/luca.html>.