How to be Involved in the Indian Country Counts Campaign


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Census Day 2010 is only 42 days away! Is your tribe or organization ready? In this webinar, NCAI will share strategies for reaching American Indians and Alaska Natives with effective messaging and activities leading up to the 2010 Census. Learn what you can do in February and March to ensure a complete and accurate count of your community.

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  • Thank you all for joining us today for the first in the NCAI series of webinars and teleconferences designed to provide tribes with information and assistance on the 2010 Census in Indian country. Today, we will present a special webinar on How to be Involved in the Indian Country Counts campaign.
  • 1.) Data is political – NCAI sees participation as one of many components on the civic engagement continuum. The Census is just one way of making sure tribal people are full participants in the American political process. Recently, Native people have begun to really flex their muscles at the polls. Being included in the 2010 Census is just as important as registering our people to vote and getting them to the polls on Election Day. 2.) Many of us know already that accurate data is necessary for forward thinking policy development. It’s critical that the 2010 Census captures an accurate picture of Indian Country as it lays the groundwork for a decade of policy making, from 2010 to 2020 and will also be a part of the debate as we turn from census data to redistricting and then continuing to work toward measuring economic recovery. 3.) With large gaps in data on our population, it’s impossible to make progress when we can’t prove needs for improving infrastructure like roads, housing, schools, police, and hospitals.
  • Jackie Pata reminds us often that tribes would not certify the Census for their tribes because the count was too low. I read that in the 2000 Census an Alaska Native village had only 12 Native people counted in a community that local leaders know has over 200 Natives living in it. That is a huge undercount. Many of us are probably familiar with the missed members of our own communities. For too long, we were left out of the Census, either inadvertently or deliberately depending on the time period, and so we also missed out on the resources that are connected to a complete count of our population. For each person missed in the Census, an average of about $1,500 per capita of federal funding is missed out by the community per year. This doesn’t take into account the difficulty undercounts make economic development and community planning as well.
  • Only respected community and tribal leaders really have the power to encourage Natives that completing the 2010 Census is important to Our People, Our Nations, and Our Future . The support of tribal leaders, activists, volunteers, trusted community leaders, Indian organizations, and intertribal groups is of utmost importance to ensuring that none of our Native people are missed. In the same way that Native people organized and turned out to flex our power at the polls in Native Vote, NCAI has launched this campaign, Indian Country Counts, to make sure all of our people are counted and we are fairly represented politically and in the distribution of resources over the next decade.
  • A successful 2010 Census in tribal communities will require stepped up efforts to overcome new challenges, such as those posed by the economic recession, high rates of home foreclosures, and increased migration of American Indians and Alaska Natives. One thing that was hard to plan for by the Census Bureau was the economic recession that hit in the last year. The Bureau has been planning for 2010 for the last decade but the recession is something unanticipated by much of that planning. Additionally, home foreclosures are up and American Indians and Alaska Natives have been moving more often. Old Challenges: Mistrust of federal government Rural and remote addresses Unmarked, difficult to find addresses Language barriers Overcrowding Unemployment
  • Based on available research and our own experiences in doing outreach, the NCAI campaign is employing the following messages that we believe are effective. These are simple messages that we can all adapt to our own tribes and communities. 1.) The most motivating message to tribal communities is the sense of pride in culture and sharing that pride with the rest of the nation – the sense that we as Native people are still here, have survived all the policy changes meant to assimilate or terminate tribes, and will be here for generations to come. Our t-shirt campaign capitalizes on the feeling of pride in one’s culture, and I’ll get to that in a few minutes. It’s important that leaders in our community share this message – whether that’s the tribal leader, the tribal college student, or the grandmother telling all the grandchildren and aunts and uncles that it’s important. 2.) Research shows that American Indians and Alaska Natives were likely to believe that Census data was shared freely among government agencies and that the data could be used in ways that could hurt an individual or household. It’s critical that the message that Census answers are confidential and cannot be shared with any law enforcement authorities or landlords for instance. 3.) Lastly, the message should be shared that an accurate Census is critical to tribal communities’ receiving their fair share of resources.
  • Now that we’ve shared why the Census is important, and some of the challenges for Native people, this is what NCAI is doing and how you can help! Developing the message/outreach Develop and distribute educational materials Develop and distribute branded promotional materials Indian Country Counts toolkit Communications infrastructure Coalition building – Indian Country Counts coalition Recruiting partner orgs and tribes (that’s you today) Sign up on line to access resources tailored to each region and to receive email updates. Community engagement and training – including training events such as this webinar locations throughout Indian Country; events at NCAI conferences and events; and expansion of existing NCAI web infrastructure. Our website is built off the success of our Indian Country Works website, which in the last year had 20,000 unique visits. We’re excited to share that with you today.
  • We designed this so it would be easy to download each section of the toolkit to use as stand alone flyers for events. We are also providing hard copies of the toolkits free of charge. One of the questions that is asked quite a bit is how to be counted as American Indian or Alaska Native and how to list your enrolled tribe.
  • The free promotional materials are made available so that the Census is celebratory, fun, and engaging.
  • This artwork will be used in upcoming campaign materials and will be showcased at NCAI’s Executive Council Winter Session March 1-3. These art submissions have been rotating during the Winter Session in powerpoint. The winners will be announced on March 15, 2010.
  • One of the best practices we learned about at our Annual Session in October 2009 was that it’s important to make the Census fun through incentives. One of the effective strategies I’ve seen used especially with getting out the Native vote is the use of tribal specific branded materials. Many of us have seen the “Tlingit Voter” or “Yupik voter” stickers, pins, and bumper stickers around election time. The same concept works well with Census outreach. We launched a pledge campaign to support the Census Bureau’s own outreach. Initially, we offered generic Indian Country Counts shirts for free in exchange for a pledge from tribal attendees that they would conduct Census outreach. It turned out to be a fun incentive that conference goers enjoyed. Many of you may have signed up already under this campaign. Capitalizing on the sense of pride most of us feel in our own tribes, we offered t-shirts that could be customized with your own tribal affiliation – in 2009 these customized shirts were offered at a cost. Some of you may have played around with the design your own Census apparel function featured on our website.
  • Well, we’ve simplified the process, thanks to additional resources from our funders. Instead of navigating through the spreadshirt store online, which is still available for use without making a pledge, users will be able to pledge to execute outreach activities and will receive a free tribal t-shirt.
  • Our goal behind this is to make outreach activities fun, to build community spirit and consolidate tribal-focused resources in one place. The pledge is online and the activities include: Start or join a tribal Complete Count Committee (CCC) in my area. Leading up to the enumeration process in your area, have the tribe put Census flyers in paycheck mailings. Include Census public service announcements on the radio and videos on your website. Have powwow emcees announce the importance of the 2010 Census to Native people . Make available Census flyers/posters at the tribal headquarters. Include Census 2010 information in the tribal newsletter. Set up Census booths at community events and request Indian Country Counts campaign materials from our website and from the Census Bureau. Appoint a tribal liaison to the Census through the Tribal Liaison Program. Invite Census staff or tribal volunteers to Powwows, runs, picnics, rodeos, and other community events to hand out tribal specific flyers and brochures on the Census. Issue a public proclamation or resolution as an endorsement of the 2010 Census and publicize your support. Help recruit tribal applicants for the 2010 Census positions . Link to and the US Census Bureau’s website on the tribe’s website or on the website for your business or organization. Link to the website or pages from Facebook, Myspace, or Twitter. Hang Census tribal specific posters throughout your tribal community. Encourage your entire family and extended family to respond to the 2010 Census. Write an editorial to your local newspaper on the importance of the Census to Indian Country.
  • How to be Involved in the Indian Country Counts Campaign

    1. 1. NCAI’s Indian Country Counts Campaign Executive Council Winter Session  
    2. 2. Overview of Agenda <ul><li>Agenda: </li></ul><ul><li>(1) Why the 2010 Census matters to Indian Country </li></ul><ul><li>(2) Overview of the Indian Country Counts campaign </li></ul><ul><li>(3) How to be Involved in the Campaign </li></ul><ul><li>Web resources, free campaign materials, upcoming trainings and webinars </li></ul><ul><li>(4) Roll out of pledge campaign and customized tribal t-shirt offer! </li></ul>
    3. 3. Why is the Census Important to Tribes? <ul><li>Data is political. </li></ul><ul><li>Accurate data necessary for forward thinking policy development. </li></ul><ul><li>Planning for roads, housing, infrastructure and economic development. </li></ul>
    4. 4. Why Launch an NCAI Census Campaign for 2010? <ul><li>Tribal people have been one of the most undercounted groups in the history of the census. </li></ul>
    5. 5. Why Launch an NCAI Census 2010 Campaign? <ul><li>Only trusted community and tribal leaders have the power to encourage Natives that completing the 2010 Census is important to Our People, Our Nations, and Our Future . </li></ul>
    6. 6. Messages and Outreach Must Address: <ul><li>New Challenges to an Accurate Census </li></ul><ul><li>Economic recession </li></ul><ul><li>Increased migration </li></ul><ul><li>Natural disasters, such as with the ice storm emergencies in the Plains. </li></ul>
    7. 7. Effective and Important Messages for Indian Country Outreach <ul><li>Census is a way to represent your tribe and culture – Tribal Pride </li></ul><ul><li>Census data will remain confidential and private. </li></ul><ul><li>Responding to the Census benefits your community. </li></ul>
    8. 8. Nuts and Bolts of the Campaign <ul><li>Developing the message/outreach </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Indian Country Counts toolkit </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>educational materials </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>branded promotional materials </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Communications infrastructure </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Coalition building </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Indian Country Counts coalition </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Recruiting partner orgs and tribes </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Community engagement and training </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Indian Country Counts training and webinars </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Website </li></ul></ul>
    9. 9. Free Educational Materials <ul><li>NCAI Toolkit for Tribes and the 2010 Census </li></ul><ul><li>Downloadable sections </li></ul><ul><li>Free hardcopies – see order for in your packets. </li></ul><ul><li>Includes </li></ul><ul><li>Why the Census is Important </li></ul><ul><li>10 Easy Ways to Take Action </li></ul><ul><li>Important Contacts and NCAI Resources </li></ul><ul><li>2010 Census Timeline and Key Dates </li></ul><ul><li>Is Your Community Hard-to-Count? </li></ul><ul><li>How to Be Counted as Native </li></ul><ul><li>How to List Your Enrolled Tribe </li></ul>
    10. 10. Free Educational Materials, Jump drives <ul><li>Indian Country Counts jump drives </li></ul><ul><ul><li>These drives are loaded with tribal specific templates, news articles, flyers, brochures, poster order forms, sample speeches, PSAs, web banners and more. </li></ul></ul>
    11. 11. Free Promotional Materials <ul><li>Campaign Palm Cards  – </li></ul><ul><li>These palm cards describe NCAI’s pledge campaign and how to receive a free customized tribal t-shirt. </li></ul><ul><li>Bumper Sticker Magnets   – </li></ul><ul><li>Stickers – </li></ul>Email to request materials now.
    12. 12. <ul><li>Student Art Competition: </li></ul><ul><li> Entries related to the theme, “2010 Census: Our People. Our Nations. Our Future.” </li></ul>
    13. 13. Census Pledge/Tribal T-Shirt Campaign
    14. 14. Online Pledge/Free Customized Tribal T-Shirt <ul><li>The first 1,000 pledges starting today will receive a free customized t-shirt with tribal affiliation. </li></ul><ul><li>After the 1,000 customized shirts are given out, pledge makers can receive a “I’m Indian” t-shirt. </li></ul>
    15. 15. Pledge Action Items <ul><li>Check 3 out of 18 action items and sign up with whatever tribal affiliation you would like on the shirt. </li></ul><ul><li>Within 5-10 days, shirt should arrive. </li></ul><ul><li>Confirmation email will remind you what you’ve pledged and how to execute the actions. </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
    16. 16. Upcoming Webinar/Training Topics <ul><li>Mapping Hard to Count Communities </li></ul><ul><li>How to Fill out the Census form </li></ul><ul><li>Urban Indian Outreach </li></ul><ul><li>Census Bureau Resources for Tribes </li></ul><ul><li>Working with Media and Tips to the Media </li></ul><ul><li>Week of Action – Last week of March 2010 </li></ul>
    17. 17. Join the Campaign! <ul><li>We are only one month away from Census day, April 1 st 2010; plan events now! </li></ul><ul><li>Ways to be involved right away: </li></ul><ul><li>Sign up at </li></ul><ul><li>Sign the action pledge. </li></ul><ul><li>Request Indian Country Counts materials and Census Bureau materials for events. </li></ul><ul><li>Upload your own content – news, events, or send them to NCAI for broader distribution. </li></ul>