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US The Census Begins Where It Has Struggled Before: Remote, Frozen Alaska

16:57  22 january  2020
16:57  22 january  2020 Source:   nytimes.com

Why the 2020 census starts early in Toksook Bay, Alaska

  Why the 2020 census starts early in Toksook Bay, Alaska The US Census Bureau will start counting people this week in Toksook Bay, Alaska, a remote fishing village where residents get around on snowmobiles.And for the census workers who are about to descend on this remote Alaskan fishing village, that's a good thing.

TOKSOOK BAY, Alaska — The 2020 census officially began on Tuesday in Toksook Bay, an Alaskan village on the edge Census -derived funding also goes toward improvements to roads and runways, critical to remote Alaska Native villages like Toksook Bay, where people rely on airplanes that deliver

America’s decennial census begins Tuesday in rural Alaska , as it has out of tradition and necessity since the U . S . bought the territory from Russia in 1867. The Census Bureau starts the tally in Alaska more than two months before the rest of the nation so it can reach residents in remote villages before .

TOKSOOK BAY, Alaska — The 2020 census officially began on Tuesday in Toksook Bay, an Alaskan village on the edge of the frozen Bering Sea where census takers hoped to show they can overcome language barriers, isolation and government distrust to develop an accurate tally for minority groups who have long suffered from undercounts.

a train covered in snow: Many Indigenous people in the United States live in hard-to-count areas.© Joshua Corbett for The New York Times Many Indigenous people in the United States live in hard-to-count areas.

Visitors traveling to the village of about 650 must fly 500 miles from Anchorage, and then scoot into town on the back of a snow machine or four-wheeled A.T.V. — the same ones that deliver the mail to a post office the size of a small backyard shed.

U.S. Census Bureau launches once-a-decade head count in rural Alaska

  U.S. Census Bureau launches once-a-decade head count in rural Alaska U.S. Census Bureau launches once-a-decade head count in rural AlaskaThe population tally was scheduled to officially get under way with a ceremonial visit of Census Bureau chief Steven Dillingham to the home of a tribal elder in Toksook Bay, a Yup'ik village about 500 miles west of Anchorage.

Census is coming: Count to begin in frozen north. The first Americans to be counted in the 2020 census live in tiny community of 661 on the edge of The decennial U . S . census has started in rural Alaska , out of tradition and necessity, ever since the U . S . purchased the territory from Russia in 1867.

Ever since Alaska joined the union as the 49th state in 1959, the most remote parts of the most northern state have gotten a head start on the national head count. " We look for villages that are off the road system as a place to start the census here in Alaska ," explains Carol Gore, a self-described

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On Tuesday, a small advance team spent much of the day anxiously waiting to see whether a planeload of senior Census Bureau officials, flying in for a ceremonial early start of the once-a-decade national tally, would make it through the thick winter fog.

“Counting those who are in hard-to-reach villages has been a challenge for the Census Bureau every decade since 1870,” said Steven Dillingham, the bureau’s director, ahead of his trip to Toksook Bay. “Here in Alaska, we have these very special challenges. The geography is so vast.”

The census, scheduled to get underway in most of the country in mid-March, provides a vital foundation of data used to determine everything from congressional representation to federal spending on education, health care and food assistance.

At 90, Alaska Native woman will be 1st counted in US Census

  At 90, Alaska Native woman will be 1st counted in US Census TOKSOOK BAY, Alaska (AP) — Lizzie Chimiugak has lived for 90 years in the windswept western wilds of Alaska, born to a nomadic family who lived in mud homes and followed where the good hunting and fishing led. Her home now is an outpost on the Bering Sea, Toksook Bay, and she is about to become the first person counted in the U.S. Census, taken every 10 years to apportion representation in Congress and federal money. "Elders that were before me,TOKSOOK BAY, Alaska (AP) — Lizzie Chimiugak has lived for 90 years in the windswept western wilds of Alaska, born to a nomadic family who lived in mud homes and followed where the good hunting and fishing led.

U . S . census has started in rural Alaska , out of tradition and necessity, ever since the U . S . purchased the territory from Russia in 1867. The ground is still frozen , which allows easier access before the spring melt makes many areas inaccessible to travel and residents scatter to subsistence hunting and

The census , which takes place every 10 years, begins in the remote fishing village of Tooksok Bay. Image caption Remote Alaskan villages are counted in January, when the ground is still frozen . Although it has now officially started, the Bureau is still hiring census takers for the rest of the 2020

This year, there are renewed calls for special attention to minority neighborhoods and Indigenous communities like Toksook Bay. In many such places, traditional methods have historically failed to count some people who may be invisible as a result of the federal government’s inability to overcome geography, language barriers or the reluctance of some residents to interact with government representatives.

a man riding a snowboard down a snow covered slope: Two census workers, Tim Metzger, left, and Dennis Kashatok, traveled around Toksook Bay by snowmobile.© Joshua Corbett for The New York Times Two census workers, Tim Metzger, left, and Dennis Kashatok, traveled around Toksook Bay by snowmobile.

The Census Bureau estimated that Native Americans and Alaska Natives living on reservations were undercounted by about 4.9 percent during the 2010 census, more than twice the rate of the next closest population group.

Many advocates fear that a now-abandoned Trump administration effort to ask about citizenship status may have already set the stage for a depressed count among immigrant groups.

Census 2020 kicks off today in remote Alaskan town of Toksook Bay

  Census 2020 kicks off today in remote Alaskan town of Toksook Bay Residents in this small town are the first to be counted before Census Day begins on April 1.The residents of Toksook Bay, located in Alaska, will be the first to be counted in the census.

TOKSOOK BAY, ALASKA — There are no restaurants in Toksook Bay, Alaska . No motels or movie theater, either. There also aren't any factories. The decennial U . S . census has started in rural Alaska , out of tradition and necessity, ever since the U . S . purchased the territory from Russia in 1867.

TOKSOOK BAY, Alaska – There are no restaurants in Toksook Bay, Alaska . No motels or movie theater When the official count begins this week, the Census Bureau has hired four people to go Simeon John, who leads a youth suicide prevention group, stood before about 120 people at the end

The census hopes to avoid an undercount by using partners who can help lay the groundwork in minority communities, hiring people with knowledge of local neighborhoods to do the actual count and producing videos in 59 languages that explain how to fill out census forms. A new advertising campaign targeting minority groups is intended to convey that the process is easy, important and confidential.

Donna Bach, hired last year as a “partnership specialist” to help pave the way for the count in Alaska, said she had already spent months giving presentations to tribal leaders and meeting with local officials to explain why the census matters.

Money derived from census data totals about $3.2 billion in Alaska, funding health programs, local clinics and education programs like Head Start. Census-derived funding also goes toward improvements to roads and runways, critical to remote Alaska Native villages like Toksook Bay, where people rely on airplanes that deliver mail, medicine and the food to stock store shelves.

“We tell everyone there are 3.2 billion reasons why the census matters,” Ms. Bach said.

Census 2020 kicks off today in remote Alaskan town of Toksook Bay

  Census 2020 kicks off today in remote Alaskan town of Toksook Bay Colin: More pressure on Chiefs to win SB than 49ers

TOKSOOK BAY, Alaska (AP) — There are no restaurants in Toksook Bay, Alaska . No motels or movie theater, either. There also aren't any factories. The decennial U . S . census has started in rural Alaska , out of tradition and necessity, ever since the U . S . purchased the territory from Russia in 1867.

The decennial U . S . census has started in rural Alaska , out of tradition and necessity, ever since the [What you need to know before 2020 Census starts in Alaska ]. The census is entirely confidential The Census traditionally begins earlier in Alaska than the rest of the nation because frozen ground

Census representatives are beginning their sweep through rural Alaska during the frigid weeks of winter because frozen ground allows easier access to some villages, and residents are more likely to be home before the spring thaw draws them to their fishing grounds.

In Toksook Bay, where small houses painted in vibrant colors of green, orange, red and blue rise from the ice and snow during the long Alaskan winter, almost everyone is Alaska Native. They subsist on the local wildlife: fish, the occasional moose and seal. Garlands of dried herring tied up with braided grass hang outside the doors of many homes.

As in most other Alaska Native villages, there are no paved streets and no addresses. People from the outside — the term Alaskans use for the Lower 48 states — do not often visit, and most residents grow up speaking their native Yup’ik language, Yugtun, before learning English. Not everybody has internet access, mirroring trends among Native communities around the country.

Despite concerns about reaching Indigenous communities, the Census Bureau, working with a tight budget, has pressed ahead with a plan to prioritize an internet-based head count; much of the country will get an invitation to fill out information online, and those who do not respond will be contacted in other ways. The online option offers a cheaper solution at a time when some states, including Alaska, are ramping up their own spending to make sure their residents participate.

Census 2020 kicks off today in remote Alaskan town of Toksook Bay

  Census 2020 kicks off today in remote Alaskan town of Toksook Bay MMA columnist Kevin Iole calls Jim Rome to discuss what are Conor McGregor's options for his next fight.

The Census traditionally begins earlier in Alaska than the rest of the nation because frozen ground allows The decennial U . S . census has started in rural Alaska , out of tradition and necessity, ever For those reasons, they have to start early here. The rest of the country, plus urban areas of Alaska

TOKSOOK BAY, Alaska — There are no restaurants in Toksook Bay, Alaska . No motels or movie theater, either. There also aren’t any factories. The decennial U . S . census has started in rural Alaska , out of tradition and necessity, ever since the U . S . purchased the territory from Russia in 1867.

Census Bureau officials said they would not rely on an internet count in remote Alaskan villages such as Toksook Bay.

After spending hours waiting in Bethel for the fog to clear, Mr. Dillingham and other Census Bureau officials arrived in Toksook Bay to begin the count on Tuesday afternoon. Mr. Dillingham’s first stop was at the home of the village’s oldest resident, Lizzie Chimiugak, to count her as the first census participant.

Mr. Dillingham then went to the school gym, where high school students were dressed in red, white and blue handmade shirts known as kuspuks and hand-beaded headdresses — nasqerrun — topped with wolf and beaver fur.

“We’re trying to count everyone, and here we are in remote Alaska,” Mr. Dillingham said, out of breath as he ran down the hall toward the gym.

After a brief visit, and with snow starting to fall, the census crew rushed off to avoid being trapped again by the weather. Other census workers will be continuing the count in coming days.

In Alaska and elsewhere, the bureau has been slow to hire the partnership specialists who are supposed to be key liaisons to build support in local communities before counting begins. There are added worries that people hired to do the counting may not be prepared for a job involving travel by bush planes, A.T.V.s and even dog sleds, along with lodging in schools or in the homes of local residents who may be wary of outsiders from the government.

As census leaders prepared to begin the count in recent weeks, they readied an advertising campaign to reach Native residents living in remote villages of Alaska to help begin building trust.

Earthquake of magnitude 6.2 strikes off Alaska island, no tsunami threat

  Earthquake of magnitude 6.2 strikes off Alaska island, no tsunami threat An earthquake of magnitude 6.2 struck 81 km (50 miles) west of the city of Adak in Alaska at a depth of 10 km, the U.S. Geological Survey said on Thursday. There was no danger of a tsunami, the National Tsunami Warning Center based in Palmer, Alaska, said.The quake was followed by more than 30 aftershocks of magnitudes in the range of 2.1 and 3.9 within two hours in the same Aleutian Island region, according to the Alaska Earthquake Center at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.Adak is the westernmost city not only in Alaska but in the United States. It is about 1,300 miles southwest of Anchorage and has a population of about 300.

The Census traditionally begins earlier in Alaska than the rest of the nation because frozen ground allows The decennial U . S . census has started in rural Alaska , out of tradition and necessity, ever since the “And that attitude is fairly pervasive in some of our more rural and remote communities.”

The decennial U . S . census has started in rural Alaska , out of tradition and necessity, ever since the U . S . purchased the territory from Russia in 1867. One reason the census starts early in Toksook Bay is because frozen ground in January turns to marsh that’s difficult to traverse by March.

But the effort stumbled almost immediately. An advocate for Alaska Natives said that when she finally heard a planned radio spot in November, she immediately raised concerns, among them that some names of Alaskan groups had been mispronounced.

“I was shocked,” said Nicole Borromeo, the general counsel for the Alaska Federation of Natives. The census has scrambled over the past several days to prepare a new ad, but Ms. Borromeo said the production quality was not on par with other census advertising campaigns.

The delay in bringing partnership specialists on board has been an issue around the country. The Government Accountability Office found that the Census Bureau missed its hiring targets last year and warned that it could have a negative impact in hard-to-count areas. In Alaska, Ms. Borromeo said the census had hired one and was in the process of bringing in two others.

She said the bureau should have had 12 partnership specialists in place in Alaska a year ago to begin laying the groundwork for the count. “Better late than never,” she said.

Noting the estimated 4.9 percent undercount in the 2010 census, James Tucker, a Las Vegas attorney and vice chair on the National Advisory Committee to the Census Bureau, said the rate was likely much higher.

“We received feedback from many communities that the census numbers from 2010 were much lower than the number of people living in those communities,” he said. “The challenge is estimating the number of people who were missed.”

Kevin Allis, the chief executive of the National Congress of American Indians, said local communities have had to fund their own efforts to build grass-roots engagement in preparation for the count.

“We’re filling in the gaps here because if we don’t do it, then our folks don’t get counted,” Mr. Allis said.

In Toksook Bay, Robert Pitka, the local tribal administrator, said he had talked about the census at public meetings, at evening practices for the community dance group and during a tribal membership meeting this month.

He has relayed his message to tribal administrators in neighboring communities: Tununak, seven miles to the north, and Nightmute, about 14 miles to the east. “This is to benefit for the next 10 years for our children, our grandchildren’s future,” he said.

Emily Schwing reported from Toksook Bay, and Mike Baker from Seattle.

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