WPR News
6:55 pm
Fri January 8, 2010

Tribal members counting tribal members

Laramie, WY – Getting an accurate census count on the Wind River Indian Reservation can be difficult. Eastern Shoshone Tribal Liaison Raphaella (Raph-ee-ella) Stump says the problem is that tribal members don't trust the Government, so they don't want to give out any information. But the problem is that the government pays about 400 dollars per person recorded by the census. So an undercount takes money away from the tribes. Stump says this year they are using local tribal members to gather the data in an effort to increase the census count. Stump says people probably don't realize how important the census is to the tribes, "We get low income energy assistance. We also get WIC which is supplemental income for women infants and Children. Even when we go for community development block grants all those things really count the census data."
Most of the data collection will begin in April. But Stump says they are doing a lot of publicity to try and get people to understand how important it is to fill out census forms.