Tuesday, May 4, 2010

the final stop of the Tribal Road Tour

War Paint Pilot Susie says...

Eastern Shoshone welcomed the Road Tour with an exhibition basketball game for all the elementary school. Teams consisted of the Total Count Committee and the school staff. It was a fun game and many of the children drew hands on new Census t-shirts and all received bags of goodies and information for parents about Census 2010. Thanks to Clint Wagon for all the coordination and a great game.

Later the Road Tour was honored with a hand drum and team dance contest gathering at Arapaho, WY. This was the farewell event for War Paint and the Tribal Road Tour 2010. Activities went on into the night thanks to Ricki Trosper and MC, Mr. William C'Hair.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Northern Cheyenne in Montana and into Wyoming

From War Paint Pilot Susie...

The Tribal Road Tour is in it's last week on the road. The energy and warm welcome at our events are non-the-less. Today we visited the Northern Cheyenne people at Lame Deer, MT. A local voice/personality set up the loud speakers and music to draw attention to our visit and information tables. It did just that. So many folks came to visit and tell us they have been counted, or they haven't and wanted to know what to do. Tribal Census folks came to chat and tell us how happy they are to be helping to make their tribe count! The Tribal President, Leroy Spang, attended to accept a plaque from the Census and stayed to visit with Johnel and me. The tribe had a huge tent put up for us and had the weather cooperate with sun and light winds.

Later, in Sheridan, WY I was stopped in the grocery store parking lot by a Girl Scout leader who said her troop was working on the Census badge and how she wished we could have been there to speak to the Scouts. We gave her a stack of beautiful posters to give to the girls while they work on their Census badge. This is the pay it forward into the future. These young women will know about and appreciate the need for accurate census in the future.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Some of the cast of 1000s...

Who have made this tour possible.

While we're getting set up on the Crow tribal nation in Montana, I can take a moment and recognize some 0f the fabulous efforts along the way. I was most impressed with volunteers from the Omaha Nation Housing Authority. They even had their own Census Road Tour shirt printed!

Below: Presenting the Ponca Tribe of Nebraska their certificate from Tribal Partnership. Gina Grant, Darlene Lee, Karen Wilde & Lori McAlister. (These photos are courtesy of Lori McAlister)

Below: In Lincoln at the Indian Center. Lori McAlister, Andy Pederson, Karen Wilde, Director Clyde Tyndall, Regina Grant and Orval Poor Bear, WIA Program Assistant.

Kids please don't try this at home. Yes, those are our dedicated people handing census bags out in the middle of the street. The Tribal Road Tour wouldn't be near as successful without this kind of insanity help.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Pine Ridge Reservation Welcomes the Tribal Road Tour

Pine Ridge Reservation

Back to South Dakota...Rosebud, Pine Ridge and Rapid

Before we get to the Northern Cheyenne and Crow in southern Montana, and eventually the Wind River in Wyoming, we're stopping in the expansive Rosebud and Pine Ridge tribal nations. We're wrapping up our stops in Rosebud today. The first at their tribal building and the second at the Rosebud Casino.

Here's Rosebud Sioux member Robert Moore with his hopes for his Sioux brothers and sisters.

KOLN TV Lincoln Nails It

From the concerns on tribal lands to the importance of being counted, this story gets it all in 60 seconds.

A big thank you to the Clyde Tyndall, Director of the Lincoln Indian Center, for his time and hospitality. Among its many services, the incredible people at the Indian Center serve lunch everyday to anyone who shows up.

oh, just watched it again...still a great story but they get the door-to-door census dates wrong. It's going through July 10th, not May 30.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Wild Turkey and Driving do not mix

From War Paint Pilot Susie:

It was a beautiful day for an outdoor event at Santee Sioux community center. Families stopped by to ask about their Census forms. Others told us they have been counted. After school the children stopped to see what we were doing. A good time was had by all.

The highlight of the day: Karen Wilde had never seen a wild turkey and I kept pointing them out as they were driving in South Dakota and Nebraska. Karen just couldn't see them. Until near sundown on the Santee Reservation a big old tom turkey decided to take off right at the vehicle and he could have made it by us if not for the car top carrier he did not judge for clearance - Karen got to see a wild turkey up close and personal, missing the windshield by inches.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Cheyenne River and Radio Power

War Paint Pilot Susie says:

April 14 - TRT drove into South Dakota and visited Eagle Butte where the Cheyenne River Sioux make their tribal home. Even there we heard from folks who heard us on KLND yesterday. About half of the people we talked with have already filled out their forms and we assured the others that Census workers will be visiting them soon, if not we explained who to contact to be sure they are counted.

Home of Sitting Bull and Chaz

War Paint Pilot Susie says:

April 13 - TRT visited Standing Rock Sioux people at McLaughlin and Ft. Yates, ND. Wind was constant sand blasting everything but the weather otherwise was beautiful. We stayed at the Prairie Knights Resort hotel at Ft. Yates and what a beautiful facility it is. they are expanding currently and doubling the size of the resort and casino. It sits on one of the highest hills on that prairie and has a view from any window that is amazing.

Charles Shoots The Enemy of Redhorse Productions and KLND-fm followed us to the events and broadcast live remotes on-air. Almost everyone came because they heard about us on the radio. Thanks to KLND and "Chaz"!

Tribal Partnership Specialist Jeff Baker and KLND's Chaz talk about the Tribal Road Tour.

Monday, April 12, 2010

If you ever wanted to know strength...

Minnie Two Shoes and Wilma Mankiller

Over the past few days Native America, and America herself, has lost two great American Indian leaders.

Minnie Two Shoes was an Assiniboine Sioux from the Fort Peck Reservation in Montana. A publicist for the American Indian Movement from 1970-1976 she later worked endlessly as a team member of the Native American Journalists Association (NAJA) starting in 1994 to help unlock information regarding the 1975 murder of Annie Mae Pictou-Aquash. She served several terms as a board member of NAJA, was an editor for Native Peoples from 1996-98 and in Canada for several publications, and had previously worked with the Wotanin Wowapi at Fort Peck as a writer and columnist for ‘Red Road Home’ specializing in stories on water rights, air quality, environment, oil and gas and economic development. She also a contributing writer for News From Indian Country.”

“As journalists, we are very special people, and have a very serious responsibility,” Two Shoes says. “But that doesn’t mean we can’t have fun along the way.”

Wilma Mankiller was the first female chief of the Cherokee Nation. She passed last week. Many of the staff working with the Tribal Road Tour knew Wilma well. Recently, on War Paint Pilot Susie's radio show Alter-Native Voices, guest host Karen Wilde share stories of Mankiller. As Susie says, "We could hear the emotion in Karen's voice as she told the stories and said good bye to Wilma."

Mankiller's story also made NPR, here's a rebroadcast of a 1993 interview on Fresh Air.

Mankiller was a recipient of dozens of awards, most notable the Medal of Freedom for meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States presented to her by President Bill Clinton.


From War Paint Pilot Susie:

Sunday TRT was treated to a bingo afternoon at Wakpala, SD by the Standing Rock Sioux folks. A fun afternoon was had by all, many prizes were donated for the bingo games and we gave bags of goodies to everyone there. The ladies prepared a fabulous late afternoon meal for everyone that really hit the empty spot. Some mentioned they have already been visited and filled out the Census form for the household. We are glad to hear so many are being counted and telling others about it.

Wanna Wakpala? Here's an event we found at Powwows.com:

August 18-20:
Wakpala Traditional Pow-Wow.
Location: Wakpala Community, Wakpala, SD, Standing Rock Reservation
Contact: Wakpala District Chairman, P.O. Box 85, Wakpala, SD 57658
Info: 701-854-7201

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Spirited Spirit Lake

From War Paint Pilot Susie:

Today TRT was handing out answers and goodies at the Boys and Girls Club Community Center at Ft. Totten, ND. When only a few of the local folks came into the center, Jeff Baker (Turtle Mt.) Census Partner, took the goodies to the people. He and two helpers went out to the street with shopping bags of goodies and stopped the cars and trucks to chat about Census 2010. Susie stayed inside rolling posters and filling the bags with hats, pill boxes, yo-yo's, stress balls, flashlights, key rings, lapel pins, posters, lunch bags and fans. Many folks said they had filled out their forms and returned them.

Friday, April 9, 2010

North Dakota: Fort Berthold to Turtle Mountain to Spirit Lake

From War Paint Pilot Susie:

Today was a busy day in Belcourt, ND on Turtle Mountain Reservation. TRT was stationed at the grocery store parking lot and the wind was 30mph but some 350 persons came by to get information and find out when their forms would arrive. Since all the TV commercials are directed at urban addresses the reservations and rural folks have some confusion about how they will be counted.* The local Rez Radio announced our arrival and hours several times and everyone listens to their radio up here.

*The Update/Enumerate (U/E) operation is a method of data collection conducted in communities where many housing units may not have house number and street name mailing addresses. This method will be used on American Indian reservations, colonias (usually rural Spanish-speaking communities) and resort areas with high concentrations of seasonally vacant living quarters. The U/E enumerators canvass assignment areas to update residential addresses, including adding living quarters that were not included on the address listing pages, update Census Bureau maps and complete a questionnaire for each housing unit during the same visit

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

"It's been an opportunity of a lifetime."

"War Paint' census tour in Great Falls

Tribune Staff Writer

An earnest effort to encourage the Rocky Mountain region's Native American population to fill out census forms and be counted during this year's tabulation effort brought the "War Paint" tour to Great Falls on Saturday.

The 2010 Census Denver Region Tribal Road Tour, nicknamed War Paint, complete with a bright yellow and orange vehicle with feathers and an eagle painted on it, is stopping on reservations and in towns with large populations of urban Indians in an effort to inform them about the importance of being counted. Saturday's stop was at the Great Falls Housing complex on Chowen Springs Loop.

Johnel Barcus, tribal partnership specialist for the Denver Regional Census Center, said the response among Native Americans in Montana has been impressive so far.

"We're doing really good," she said.

Since Montana's reservations opted to have residents counted through a door-to-door method that began March 22, the goal of the tour's stops in the state is to let people know that the census process is safe, important and easy. The 10-question form is the key to getting funding for Native American communities, Barcus said. Susie Aikman, the producer and driver for the Denver Regional Tribal Road Tour, said that many Native Americans she has talked since the tour began Feb. 8 have been receptive to filling out the form.

"Mostly positive," she said of the reception she has received. "They understand that this is important to get federal dollars that Native people have been left out of for 500 years."

Both Aikman and Barcus said that Native Americans are traditionally grossly undercounted in the census, which is conducted every 10 years to determine the country's population, the appropriation of House seats and the disbursement of federal dollars.

Barcus said that in addition to teaching people about the importance of the Census, the tour helps Native Americans learn how to properly fill out the form. One of the crucial elements is that after marking the box by "American Indian or Alaska Native" under question nine, which asks for the respondent's race, Native Americans should write in any and all tribes they belong to. She noted that though the Little Shell tribe based in Great Falls is not federally recognized, it is recognized as a tribe for census purposes.

Aikman said that as she travels the region and teaches people about the census, she learns how Native Americans live on various reservations in different states. She already has logged more than 6,000 miles in Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, Nevada, Idaho and Montana.

"We've been in sandstorms, snowstorms, rainstorms — we've got caught in a cattle drive," she said, laughing.

"It has been exciting and exhausting," Aikman added. "It's been an opportunity of a lifetime."

Census Workers Welcomed Warmly in MT

From War Paint Pilot Susie:

Today TRT visited Ft. Peck folks at Poplar, MT and yesterday Ft. Belknap and Rocky Boy. The door to door Census has started on these reservations and a few folks told us of their positive experience with the Census workers. One elder said they were at his house for 2 hours. We ask was there a problem? He said on no problem, I cooked a meal for them and we all visited! Several folks were concerned that they have not received the form. We assured them the count has begun and someone would be visiting them at their home soon with their Census form. One elder at Poplar told us she has lived in the same home since 1969 and has never before been counted in a U.S. Census. She was very proud to be counted this year.

Driving east in Montana the highway follows the railroad and a train painted the same color as War Paint sounded his whistle as we passed.

Thanks to Johnel Barcus and Elenore Yellow Robe the events in northern Montana have been very successful. We look forward to returning to southern Montana and Wyoming at the end of April.


Tuesday, April 6, 2010

War Paint Gets Great Falls' Attention

By Kay Rossi/KRTV News

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the Native American population has been drastically under-counted in past census counts, so this year the Bureau is making an extra effort to get every tribal member counted.

As part of a national tour, the Bureau brought a tribal road tour vehicle named "War Paint" to the city of Great Falls on Saturday.

The vehicle will travel to ten states, including Montana, Arizona and North Dakota.

Census staff will visit each city to answer questions and encourage Native Americans to be counted.

Johnel Barcus, the Census Tribal Partnership Specialist, said, "It's not far along the lines of the Indian vote in the state and how powerful that is. Along these lines we can realize our power through numbers too. We know there are a lot more Native Americans than what has been counted."

The tour already stopped in Missoula, Flathead and the Blackfeet Reservation.

On Monday staff will visit Rocky Boy and Fort Belknap Reservations.

Barcus says being counted means more money for tribes and can even help with situations like the Little Shell Tribe that is fighting for federal recognition.

Friday, April 2, 2010

More places to visit: Missoula and Flathead, MT

From War Paint Pilot Susie:

Today, April 1, is Census Day USA. the Tribal Road Tour had a morning event at the Missoula Indian Center and the afternoon at Salish Kootanai College in Polson, MT. The local partnership folks grilled hot dogs for the crowd and even the Flathead elder who is an enumerator at 81 attended and greeted many of the attendees. It was certainly an honor to meet him and hear how excited he is to work with the Census 2010.

This week we have driven through blizzards, sand storm, sunshine, high mountains and deep canyons to visit our Native people. At one point we helped heard hundreds of black cows with real cowboys in chaps on horseback. Renee Hardin (Paiute) has been with the Tour this week and has been an exceptional support person. Thank you Renee!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Owyhee and off through Idaho to Montana

From Warpaint Pilot Susie:

Today we added an afternoon event at Owyhee, NV tribal grocery store. Winds were about 50 mph and bitter cold. Folks at the store were helpful and welcoming. PA Jolene worked with us and helped to answer local questions folks ask. Tribal liason stopped by to welcome us and tell us stories of all the Census years since 1990. It was a good day in northern NV.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Dust Storms and Chilling Accusations

From War Paint Pilot Susie:

We drove from Fallon, NV to Winnamucca, NV today through a huge sand storm along I-80. It looked like thick fog but sand blasted the side of the vehicle from the north all the way. We crossed the 40 mile desert where there is nothing but sand and alkali and very little else. The event at Winnemucca Colony was sparsely attended because of the wind and sand. Still people stop us in the streets and comment on the beautiful design of the vehicle wherever we go and often mention they have returned their Census form. Thanks to Linda McCauley for the great photos of the Nevada events.

That's the neat narrative stuff, but on this trip there have been many questions about the 2010 Census, and some times they turn into downright dirty rumors. Here's one that Susie fielded in NV:

We were stopped in town (Winnemucca, NV) by a guy who tried to convince us that Census is selling information and it says so on the Census website under something called "Tiger". I assured him Census information is secure for 72 years.

And that's true. The census bureau does not share any personal information with any government agency or person.

He might be talking about Tiger, which is the basis for Google Maps and some of the most important mapping technology to date. It's a gov't program that uses census bureau information to create maps, but there is absolutely no personal information used (or sold).

The confidentiality of information collected by the Census Bureau even trumps the President and the Patriot Act. IT IS SAFE. And just as important, participating in the 2010 Census means for American communities better roads, schools, job programs, health care and more. So just do it for Pete's sake--heck, for YOUR sake!

Shoot us an email if you have a question, or go here to find out more about the 2010 Census.

Monday, March 29, 2010

"The TRT has had a terrific week in Nevada"

From War Paint Pilot Susie:

Visiting Washoe communities and Saturday at the Reno urban powwow and Health Fair. It was a fabulous powwow, with helpful, welcoming hosts and young men from a group home to help us with the heavy lifting. And the weather totally cooperated with 70 degrees and bright sunshine all day. There were questions about the Census forms and many folks assured us they have answered and returned their forms already. Children and some teens ask "What is census?" This is our opportunity to educate and hope they are interested enough to do more research about census, history and genealogy.

Pics from the Urban Indian Powwow in Reno:

Pics from Walker River Indian Reservation. The town is Shurz, NV and home to the Northern Paiute. Their Paiute name is Agai-Ticutta and literally means "Trout Eaters".

Finally, pics below from Fallon, NV and the Paiute-Shoshone Fallon reservation:

Tribal Elder: Iola Byers

Census outreach expert Ellen Johnson, outreach guru Renee Hardin of the Reno-Sparks Indian Colony, and Warpaint Pilot Susie.

Food, gas, smokes and your future all in one convenient location.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Moapa, Nevada: March 23, 2010

Moapa Band of Paiutes Tribal Chairman Darrin Daboda, left rear, with tribal members. Vickie Simmons, center rear, and Tracy Miller, right rear, are tribal members who work for the U.S. Census Bureau.

Photo by Mike Donahue. And those cute kid pics in Hualapai...those are Mike's too. Btw, Mike has a horse ranch and is trying to sell some Arabians. Drop a line if you want to buy a horse.

Hualapai Children Know Their Stuff

Cathy Lacy, director of the ten-state Rocky Mountain Region, meets and greets Hualapai tribal members in Peach Springs, AZ.

We'd like to thank Hualapai tribal liaison Jack Ehrhardt and assistant tribal liaison Flora Hunter for making us so welcome.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

On the way to Hualapai

If you want to get away from it all...

Tomorrow we fly into the Grand Canyon to meet with the Havasupai. In 1882 the Havasupai were confined to just over 500 acres in the bottom of the Grand Canyon. The resourceful tribe cobbled together a living with farming and wage labor. Gradually, the beauty of the canyon floor gave way to a successful tourism industry. However, despite the increasing outside traffic, the Havasupai remain very traditional and still speak their Havasupai language.

After that event at noon--you can meet us for free food by either taking a burro or helicopter. You can walk, too, but give yourself a few hours--we're back in Peach Springs on Route 66 with the Hualapai and more free food. We're on from 4:30 to 6:30. And as you can see from these pics from Fort Mojave, we bring the party.

And if you're not familiar with the Hualapai tribe, then you should come get to know them. It's a high like live you've never before experienced.

Tribal Partnership Specialist Fred Stevens learns a thing or two about the importance of being counted.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Fort Mojave and CRIT

That's Colorado River Indian Tribes to those who were wondering if I got cut off while trying to emphasize 'Critical'.

Both Fort Mojave and CRIT events were great. As Mike, the new co-pilot for Warpaint writes:

"The CRIT event went well. I think we got close to 40 people which makes it
smaller than the Fort Mojave event but still well attended overall. John Gutekunst, a reporter with the Parker Pioneer, a small weekly, attended and interviewed Fred Stevens.
David Moore, tribal census PA, did a good job working with the CRIT rep.
to set things up."

Thank you Parker Pioneer for the coverage, as well as The Desert Star. They showed up at the Fort Mojave event. Fred Stevens is a Tribal Partnership Specialist for the 2010 Census. On Monday he and Cathy Lacy, the ten-state regional director, are going into the Grand Canyon to meet the Havasupai. There they will highlight just how safe and important the 2010 Census is, as well as kick off our Update Enumerate* operations. We'll be there to take video and photos of the Havasupai's tribal land.

For now, if this doesn't make you want to run away from your cube...then you may want to check your pulse.

But if your heart is racing, here's some official census verbage to slow it down:

*The Update/Enumerate (U/E) operation is a method of data collection conducted in communities where many housing units may not have house number and street name mailing addresses. This method will be used on American Indian reservations, colonias (usually rural Spanish-speaking communities) and resort areas with high concentrations of seasonally vacant living quarters. The U/E enumerators canvass assignment areas to update residential addresses, including adding living quarters that were not included on the address listing pages, update Census Bureau maps and complete a questionnaire for each housing unit during the same visit.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Monday Vegas; Today, March 17th, Fort Mojave

Media turned out in force in Las Vegas. Tribal Partnership Specialist, Karen Wilde, who's had so much exposure she could run for office, shares with Las Vegas TV the importance of the 2010 Census to all communities, both tribal and non.

And, again, many showed up to help. Where were you? (To be honest, you fill out and get that form back then you've done enough for us, for you, for your country and for your community.)

On to Fort Mojave: If you're in the area or have a fast plane, you can get free food from 11-2 PT at the Fort Mojave Tribal building, 500 Merriman, Needles, CA.

The Fort Mojave Reservation is actually in Arizona, but right on the border along the Colorado River. Quick fact: The reservation houses has many whites and Mexican Americans as it does tribal members. The tribe leases much of their land for farming and that has attracted a multitude of cultures.

Just go through this blog and start planning your own tour of Native America

The scenery is staggering...

And its legacy echoes thousands of years of human activity.

Newspaper Rock is in Utah.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Extraordinary People Along the Way: Terry Knight

He discusses the ALP dam project that delivers water to the arid country of his people, refutes Indian stereotypes, and at about 3:30 shares the healing his father offered to anyone who needed it.

It's windy in Towoac.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Little Duckwater Gives us a Big Welcome

It was another day of being blown away by a little town's turnout. Soon we'll be in Vegas, and we can't deny that won't be fun, but you won't find a bigger payoff than the people we've met along the way.

Duckwater Tribal Chair Virginia Sanchez and hubby, world-renowned Shoshone Artist, Jack Malotte.

And now for what's next. First, it's Kaibab, AZ on March 13. We'll be hanging at the convenience mart from 11 to 2. Las Vegas:
Look for us Monday from noon to 3 p.m. at the Las Vegas Indian Center, 2300 W. Bonanza Road. We'll have all the goodies and 2010 Census information you can handle.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

There are times on every road trip where you just want a salad, a shower and a long, long nap...

This might be that time. Susie reports from Pioche:

Finally found a place with 'bars' on the phone. We're at Pioche, NV in the only motel within hundreds of miles. It is right out of the 1960's and I'm so allergic to these old rooms, hope I live through the night....

Weather is bitter cold and high winds, making it even colder. Running boards on the vehicle are iced over. I'll get it serviced tomorrow and a new windshield wiper. The drivers side is just disintegrating. Also will clean up the inside and get my stuff packed up. I'm making a list of things to do and remember for the vehicle and will leave my numbers for the drivers. I'm going to miss the tour, but really need the rest. Well sort of rest, I still will be working everyday until I return to the tour.

Warpaint Pilot Susie is going to take a break. We'll still be on the road with a new pilot and co-pilot.

Next up: Friday, March 12 -- Paiute Tribe of Utah Tribal Chambers in Cedar City, UT from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Updates from the Road: Weather = Cold, People = Warm

From Warpaint Pilot Susie Aikman:

TRT was driving on I-80 in NV when a vehicle pulled up beside us and I waved. They held up their Census form to the window for us to see.

Generally every day, we get at least one person chat with us in a parking lot at a hotel about the forms, a job, or what is Census. I even recruit from the hotel staff where I stay. Call the number, put in your zip and contact your local office.

We're in Ely, NV and we hear this is the coldest place in the US at times. Today is was bitter cold and blowing pellets of snow. The folks at the Shoshone Colony were warm and helpful. We toured their Ed. Admin building and newly organized library. If any one is interested in helping, send books and educational materials to the Ely Shoshone Reservation Library, Ely, NV.

Next up: We're here today (3/10/10) from 11-1 at the Duckwater Shoshone Tribal Health Center.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Hear from the Intrepid Explorer Herself

An mp3 interview with Warpaint Pilot, Susie.
Scroll down a bit...

It's EE-LEE dangit

The word from Nevada Tribal Partnership Specialist Linda McCauley is this:

"We are going to Ely today! Its snowing."

That's not entirely enticing but you will get to meet the warm souls of our Census road reps. And get free stuff.

And here's something else that's free. "Ely" is pronounced "Ee-lee", not "Ee-lie". And that's the truth. This courtesy of the editor of the Ely Times. (There's a great tribute to the troops at the top of the page.)

If you're in the area we're at the:
Ely Shoshone Tribe
Education Center
March 9, 3 - 5 p.m.