“NO” to Stealing Resources and the Vote from Indian Country
Wherever we live, whoever we are, we all have the right to be counted so our communities get their fair share of resources from the government for vital community needs. And we all need a reliable way to get and send mail at reasonable rates and be able to vote by mail, without traveling miles or risking our lives.
But the Trump administration is trying to end the Census one month early, before many people across Indian Country have been counted. This is a deliberate act to try to steal resources from American Indians, Alaska Natives, and other hard-hit communities of color, while we’re focused on responding to and recovering from the pandemic. And the administration is cutting staffing and resources for the Postal Service, which is now leading to massive mail delays and reduced mail collection locations. Ultimately they want to privatize the post office.
Let’s be clear about what’s at stake for American Indian and Alaska Natives: An undercount could lead to losing as much as $1 billion per year nationally in resources that our Native communities rely on for healthcare, schools, roads, and other essential programs and services. And by making it harder for people to vote by mail, the administration is trying to silence our voices in the upcoming presidential elections. Privatizing the post office would likely mean less service and more expense for rural residents.
But the good news is that Native people across the country are speaking out and taking action. And winning. From changing the name of the Washington football team to stopping the Dakota Access Pipeline to toppling racist statues, Native peoples are confronting the historic racist legacy of colonization and genocide.
Now we are uniting with hundreds of other groups and many thousands of people across the country to demand that the Census deadline remain as promised, and that the Postal Service be protected and funded.