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S.E. Ruckman: White House budget office using old tribal data





"Federal officials say the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) compiled list of population, enrollment and workforce statistics for Indian Country has not been updated since 2005.

The figures reflect a federal lapse in knowing where current tribal enrollments stand. With a looming fiscal cliff, accurate numbers on American Indians/Alaska Natives (AI/ANs) come into sharp focus since funding subsidies for tribes are often determined using population figures.

Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) spokeswoman, Nedra Darling, said the agency does not internally keep a list of tribal numbers and relies on the OMB figures for reference. An economist for the BIA, Steve Payson, said the federal Indian totals separate self-governance tribes from other tribes and should not be considered inclusive. Payson said he could not give projections on how tribal growth may have varied from 2005 to 2012 for the nation’s roughly 562 tribes.

“The information is based on what the tribes tell us,” he said."

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S.E. Ruckman: Feds using tribal enrollment numbers from 2005 (The Native American Times 12/19)