Two American Indians Named to US Census National Advisory Committee

Native News Network Staff

 WASHINGTON – The US Census Bureau Wednesday announced 10 new members of its National Advisory Committee on Racial, Ethnic and Other Populations. Among the ten were two American Indians who were named to the Committee. They are Desi Small Rodriguez, a member of the Northern Cheyenne Tribe, and Timothy Harjo from the Fort Sill-Chiricahua Apache Tribe.
Desi Small Rodriguez – Northern Cheyenne Tribe
Desi Small Rodriguez – Northern Cheyenne Tribe

Small-Rodriguez was raised on the reservation in Lame Deer, Mont. Her Cheyenne name is Muksheha, Bear-Mint-Woman. She holds bachelor’s and master’s degree from Stanford University and has extensive local, regional and international experience with demography and economic policy in indigenous and rural contexts. Before returning home to serve her tribe, Small-Rodriguez served as a tribal researcher for the Waikato-Tainui Maori Tribe and as a senior policy analyst at the Ministry of Maori Development on developing tribal census and stewarding population measurement projects. Small-Rodriguez is committed to using data to strengthen tribal sovereignty and empower indigenous communities. She serves as a consultant to indigenous tribes in the United States and internationally on tribal data and policy development. Additionally, she has developed work for the National Congress of American Indians Policy Research Center related to research regulation in tribal contexts that informed the creation of a document titled, -Developing a Community-Based Research Orientation in Tribal Contexts.-

Over the last 10 years, Harjo has worked for many tribal governments, law firms, courts, nonprofits and businesses on behalf of American Indian clients and or policy matters. During the 2010 Census, he served as a partnership team leader in the Los Angeles Regional Office, where he developed and supervised large American Indian outreach initiatives. His work required great knowledge of tribal government interests and required a good working relationship with local tribal offices.

The National Advisory Committee advises the Census Bureau on a wide range of variables that affect the cost, accuracy and implementation of the Census Bureau’s programs and surveys, including the once a decade census. The committee, which is comprised of 32 members from multiple disciplines, advises the Census Bureau on topics such as housing, children, youth, poverty, privacy, race, ethnicity and sexual orientation issues.

“The committee has helped us meet emerging challenges the Census Bureau faces in producing high quality statistics about our diverse nation,”

said Thomas Mesenbourg, the Census Bureau’s acting director.

“By helping us better understand a variety of issues that affect statistical measurement, this committee ensures that the Census Bureau continues to provide relevant and timely statistics used by federal, state and local governments as well as business and industry in an increasingly technologically oriented society.”

The National Advisory Committee members, who serve at the discretion of the Census Bureau director, are chosen to serve based on their expertise and knowledge of the cultural patterns, issues and/or statistical needs of “hard to count” populations. The new members will be seated on August 1.

posted June 27, 2013 9:50 am edt