In light of the growing concerns over COVID-19 or Coronavirus, the New Mexico Native Census Coalition wants to acknowledge our communities and prioritize the safety and well being of our people, elders, and children. Secondly, we thank you for your tireless efforts to ensure Native communities are counted by committing to get an accurate count for the next 10 years.
On March 12, the 2020 Census launched nationwide and operations to get the count started in Tribal communities will begin on March 16. Given potential changes and the Tribes’ concerns for their people, this will likely impact outreach, education and mobilization efforts as self-quarantine and social distancing measures are being implemented.
We are dedicated to continue to offer support, resources and strategies to ensure an accurate count while understanding that our people, our families, elders and children are our priority. At this time, April 1, 2020, we highly encourage the online response option only if you have received your Census ID by going to my2020census.gov. We also understand that some areas may not have access to the internet and recommend responding by phone by calling 1-844-330-2020. The other option is to fill out the questionnaire and return it by mail for these communities that do not have digital access. Here is the U.S. Census Bureau’s page on completing the Census.
We also understand that many tribes have not received their questionnaires as of April 1. The U.S. Census Bureau has temporarily halted field operations until April 15, and the Bureau could also elected to do so again given the highly contagious nature of COVID-19.
To help continue the momentum of our Census work and practice social distancing we recommend:
- Continuing to share and strength your social media practices, if you have them
- Dropping off reminder flyers after shelter in place orders have been lifted
- Consideration of implementing a text messaging campaign
We also have several resources for Complete Count Committees aid in continued outreach with the Census in Native communities:
- NMNCC meetings calendar
- NMNCC Resources (social media templates, flyers, etc)
- Federal Registry https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2019-02-01/pdf/2019-00897.pdf
- U.S. Census Bureau’s Tribal Resources Page
And here is some information from the U.S. Census Bureau regarding COVID-19 and some changes in strategy. The key message from the Bureau is that It has never been easier to respond on your own, whether online, over the phone or by mail—all without having to meet a census taker.
And when tribal residents receive an invitation to respond to the Census, please go to the online portal to complete the form — it’s 10 questions, which could take as much as 10 minutes and is easy to complete. If you need help with some questions, please look at our Questionnaire information page, How to Get Counted, specific to the American Indian & Alaska Native communities.
Meetings will continue to be offered via Zoom on the first Friday of each month, including one at 9 a.m. on March 19. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to Charlotte Little, Pueblo Census Coordinator, for more information.
We thank our Tribal Leadership, our partners and all the Complete Count Committees’ work in this to ensure an accurate count. So many of our communities depend on it.