NEW TOWN The Three Affiliated Tribes will conduct a census of Fort Berthold Reservation beginning this month and lasting through March 30.
The tribal business council has hired Bubar & Hall Consulting, LLC of Fort Collins, Colo., to manage the Census Challenge and provide the tribes and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development with accurate information to use when determining the tribes' share of the Indian Housing Block Grant funds. The updated census numbers will also be used to determine the percentage of federal dollars the tribes will receive from road construction and other grant funding sources.
Since the Three Affiliated Tribes' business Council believes the 2010 census on the reservation is low due to inaccurate reporting or undercounting, it issued a Census Challenge that HUD's Office of Native American Programs allows.
The tribal Planning Department has indentified two to three people from each of the six segments of the reservation who will conduct a verification of housing units followed by 700 door-to-door surveys.
The survey will also look at income levels and housing conditions. Participation in the survey will not affect eligibility to remain in a housing authority home. Responses will be kept anonymous and confidential, according to Ron Hall, of Bubar & Hall consulting. About 30 percent of tribal member households will be contacted to complete the survey.
According to Sevant Taft, enrollment clerk, as of Feb. 14 the total tribal enrollment is 13,095, with the majority in the 18-59 age brackets. The Census Challenge will count only those living on the reservation.
Under HUD's rules, the Three Affiliated Tribes will have until March 30 to complete the Census Challenge.