“My God. I just heard that census forms weren’t mailed to people living on reservations in Minnesota. What can we do?!”
Hmmm… Here are the options as I see them:
1. Nothing. Because we are terrible people who all hate Indians and if the government don’t count ’em, we can pretend they don’t exist. And btw, Native Americans, stop eating all the fish!!
2. We can send you out to all reservations with stacks of census forms and have you go door-to-door.
3. Become hysterical on social media outlets.
4. Retreat with mugs of green tea, listen to more MPR and ruminate.
5. Go to the Census 2010 website and do a search for American Indian reservations. Come up with a transcript of a press conference during which the question of reservations was addressed by Census Bureau Director Dr. Robert Groves. Due to the fact that many reservations have postal systems of delivery that are quite complicated and housing changes rapidly, census workers are going out to reservations to make sure they have accurate lists of the housing units and to interview people. So, if you live on a reservation, you might not have gotten a census survey in the mail but this does not mean that people are not trying to contact you.
Also: Census Designated Places represent locally-known, unincorporated communities that contain a mix of residential, commercial, cultural, and/or retail uses similar to that of an incorporated place of similar size in a similar geographic setting. The delineation of Census Designated Places allows for the identification of, and tabulation of data for, unincorporated communities within the boundaries of federally recognized American Indian reservations, off-reservation trust lands, and Oklahoma Tribal Statistical Areas.
So, remember, a reservation is not set up like a suburb.