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EVANSTON, Ill. & GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A comprehensive survey of Indigenous people in North America is now more accessible to Native elders and others who lack the internet or may need help taking the online poll.   

The survey of American Indians, Alaska Natives and First Nations people is focused on understanding how Indigenous people are getting their news and health care during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The survey is being conducted by the Northwestern University Center for Native American and Indigenous Research (CNAIR) and the university’s Medill School of Journalism in collaboration with Native News Online.

In designing the survey, experts at Northwestern set up a special “Helper” version of the poll for people who want to take the survey, but need help because they don’t have internet access or because it would be difficult for them to complete the interactive questionnaire.  

“We designed the survey so that a helper could sit with the person and then do the clicking and typing for them,” said Stephen Hersh, a Medill School professor who is leading the project. The helper version of the survey can be taken here

The special accommodations were designed into the survey to make sure that researchers could gather as many Native voices as possible and help them be heard, said Levi Rickert, editor and publisher of Native News Online.  

“Far too often, Indigenous people are left out of national surveys,” Rickert said. “This survey is an important project and the results will be shared nationally with policymakers, regulators, media and others that have an impact on Native American communities and First Nations.”

The results of the Native News Online / Northwestern University-CNAIR-Medill Poll will be shared via stories in the media and direct outreach to tribes as well as policymakers at the federal, state and local levels. 

The Northwestern University team will also be creating scientific reports on the study, for the Indigenous community, the national community, and the global community of scientists and social scientists.

If you would like to help someone take the survey with the special “helper” version, click here

If you would like to take the survey yourself, please use this link.

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