Joe Garcia: Accurate Census count vital for Indian Country
"As children growing up on reservations or in villages, we quickly learn our numbers. We learn how to count, how to add and subtract, and then soon learn the value of money.

And counting and understanding mathematics for Native Americans has become more important in recent years as we look at statistics — Indians continue to have the highest rates of unemployment, lowest rates of homeownership and the least amount of access to health care when compared with other races in the United States.

Some of these issues are addressed with an annual appropriation from Congress. But Congress doesn't know how much to allocate to our communities unless we have accurate numbers.

As door-to-door enumeration continues for the 2010 census, counting in Native communities becomes even more relevant.

An accurate count of American Indians and Alaska Natives means better access to federal resources and fair representation in state legislatures and Congress. But equally important, the census determines the annual distribution of more than $1 billion in federal funds annually for tribal roads, schools, veterans, senior citizens, health care and housing."

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Joe Garcia: Accurate Native Count Essential (The Albuquerque Journal 5/19)