The American Indian and Alaska Native population in the United States. Source: U.S. Census Bureau

Witness list for Senate Committee on Indian Affairs hearing on Census count

The Senate Committee on Indian Affairs continues its busy schedule with an oversight hearing on the upcoming 2020 Census.

A panel of federal and tribal officials will discuss efforts to ensure that Indian Country is counted accurately by the U.S. Census Bureau. The figures are important because they impact everything from federal funding levels to Congressional districts.

"Federal funding for Indian schools, Indian education programs, Indian health programs, Indian housing programs, water and sewage projects, roads and economic development are based on data collected by the Census Bureau every ten years," the National Congress of American Indians wrote in its fiscal year 2019 budget request on Monday.

Historically, American Indians and Alaska Natives have been undercounted. For the 2010 Census, the last undertaking, the count missed on average 4.9 percent of tribal people on reservations, compared to a slight overcount for the rest of the population.

According to the Census Bureau, 6.7 million people, or 2 percent of the entire U.S. population, self-identified as American Indian and Alaska Native. That figure includes people of more than one race.

Going by race alone, 4.0 million identify as American Indian and Alaska Native.

The oversight hearing on the 2020 Census takes place immediately following a business meeting at 2:30pm Eastern on Wednesday. Both events will be webcast.

The witness list follows:
Mr. Ron S. Jarmin
Associate Director for Economic Programs, Performing the Non-Exclusive Functions and Duties of the Director
U.S. Census Bureau, Washington, D.C.

Ms. Carol Gore
President and Chief Executive Officer
Cook Inlet Housing Authority
Anchorage, AK

The Honorable Jefferson Keel
National Congress of American Indians
Washington, D.C.

Mr. James Tucker
Pro Bono Voting Rights Counsel
Native American Rights Fund
Las Vegas, NV

Senate Committee on Indian Affairs Notice:
Oversight Hearing on “Making Indian Country Count: Native Americans and the 2020 Census” (February 14, 2018)

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