From Press Release
WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. — On Thursday, Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez, 24th Navajo Nation Council Speaker Seth Damon, and Navajo Nation Chief Justice JoAnn B. Jayne signed a proclamation encouraging the Navajo people to participate in the 2020 Census to ensure a complete count of all citizens on the Navajo Nation during a ceremony held at the Department of Diné Education in Window Rock, Ariz.
Every 10 years, the U.S. Census Bureau is required by the U.S. Constitution to conduct a count of the U.S. population. The Navajo Nation recognizes the importance of the participation of each Navajo citizen in the census count.
“The 2020 Census is an opportunity to provide a better future for our communities and future generations. The people’s participation and response help shape how billions of dollars in federal funds are distributed each year for tribal programs and grants. The census also shapes how congressional, state, county redistricting is determined, and the Nation's goal is to strengthen our representation at all levels of government to benefit our citizens and communities,” said President Nez.
He also spoke about the importance of reaching Navajo elders, including those residing in rural areas, to fully inform them and to provide guidance to ensure they are counted in the census process.
The proclamation states, “We, as a Nation, continue to grow and build our future on our traditions and culture taught to us from the beginning of time, and we must ensure our Nation remains strong and will carry us through for many generations, and to ensure our Navajo people make an impact in 2020.”
“Every single Navajo person, whether they’re a newborn or they’re 102 years old and beyond, should be listed and counted on the 2020 Census form. Whether they’re living here on the Navajo Nation or working or going to school away from home, they should be counted. With this proclamation, we want to keep spreading the message that the 2020 Census form should be filled out and submitted by every household on the Navajo Nation. With July 31 quickly approaching – the last day to answer the 2020 Census – we need everyone’s help to make sure the Navajo Nation’s numbers grow. We won’t get this opportunity again for another 10 years. Answer the 2020 Census,” said Speaker Seth Damon.
Speaker Damon added that the Naabik’íyáti’ Committee of the 24th Navajo Nation Council established the Navajo Nation Census 2020 Complete Commission to coordinate and promote the census.
On March 16, census questionnaires will be mailed or delivered to households, and people will have the opportunity to self-report by phone, by mail, or online. Throughout mid-March to May, census takers will visit each household to update address lists and collect information on questionnaires that were not self-reported. The deadline to submit surveys is July 31.
“The Judicial Branch is committed to assisting the Nation in regards to getting the most accurate count for our people through the U.S. Census. These numbers help us with nahata– planning – as we use them to make decisions and plans for our Nation's future. The greater our numbers, the greater our strength to help our people improve quality of life - iiná. Please make sure that you and your family are counted this year,” said Chief Justice JoAnn Jayne.
The proclamation states that the Navajo Nation will disseminate census information, participate in events that raise awareness of the census, provide advocates to speak to local government chapters and local events about the importance of the census, support census staff, and encourage all Navajo citizens to participate. For more information on the 2020 Census, visit 2020census.gov.