SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Ensuring Accurate "TRIBAL" Counts
By Marilyn Blair-Catron


April 14, 2010

I think it funny how they are telling us to put in either KIC or OVS in place of the names of our "Tribes." One being, Ketchikan Indian Community and the other being the Organized Village of Saxman. Do you see anything in those words helping to "Ensure Accurate Tribal Counts?" I sure don't.

I spoke with one of the people going from household to household doing the 2010 Census. She told me that they have been concerned because so many people have been confused over this misinformation being put out from the local IRA's.

Every person I have talked to who is involved with the Census in some form or another (excuding my conversation with Winona Wallace) have said the same thing, "you are suppose to put the name of your TRIBE and not the name of a organization" in the part of the census asking for your ethnicity/race.

I am becoming very concerned about leaders & organizations pushing their ideas on the local native population. Especially if someone does end up putting the name of a oganization in place of the name of the tribe for a child that was been born after the last census. Sure those parents will teach their children where they come from and about their cultures, but as far as the government will be concerned those children will have no identity as being from any tribe.

All I can ask at this time is for our local natives to put the name of your tribe when it comes to anwering the ethnicity/race question of the census. Keep your identity as a Tlingit, Haida or Tsimpsian alive. Your ethnicity is NOT called the Organized Village of Saxman or Ketchikan Indian Community is it? I was told by a census worker you can even put the name of your clan with the name of your tribe to further identify yourself.

And please don't let them scare you by telling that is how the goverment decides how much a community will receive in federal funding. Sure the government uses the census for a head count but they need to have an accurate account of just how many Tlingits Haida's or Tsimpsians, etc. acctually live in the community applying for some of those funds.

Thanks again for your time,

Marilyn Blair-Catron
Ketchikan, AK

About: "I'm a Saxman Tlingit Resident and have just a little more to add to my earlier opinion about Norman Arriola and Lea Wallace's letter "Ensuring Accurate Tribal Counts in 2010 Census."

Received April 12, 2010 - Published April 14, 2010


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