2020 Census For Oregon Kicks Off On Indian Reservation

Mar 11, 2020

This Thursday (3/12) the very first 2020 Census count in Oregon will be conducted…on the Warm Springs Indian Reservation. 

Census 2020 promotional image for Oregon's kick-off.
Credit Census 2020

Festivities include a pow-wow, communal meal, and a tribal elder completing the very first count in the state.

Shana Radford is the U.S. Census Bureau’s Tribal Partnership Specialist for Oregon and Idaho. She appreciates the Warm Springs tribal community helping to coordinate the Census launch, which remains important to Native Americans.

A billboard draft from IHC on improving the Native American count for 2020 Census.
Credit Provided by KWSO

“The Census happens only 10 years," Radford tells KLCC. "And in the past we’ve undercounted tribal communities and the reservation communities, and we really don’t want that to happen for 2020. 

"It adds up over ten years, a lot of the funding and resources that are needed by the tribes.  So there’s a lot at stake, and it’s very, very important for our tribal nations and partners to show up and be counted and participate.”

Credit Alachua County (public domain) / Flickr.com

Meanwhile, Radford acknowledges that there are concerns over coronavirus as the census effort gets underway.  She says safety for both census takers and respondents can be accomplished several ways.

“Having the opportunity to submit your responses online, and also by phone," she says. 

"So there are other opportunities to participate aside from somebody having to come into someone’s space, particularly around elders.

"So we have heard that, and we are taking it very seriously.”

The 2020 Census can also be mailed in, though it’s safest not to personally lick envelopes as saliva can transmit certain diseases.

Copyright 2020, KLCC.