Taino Announce 2010 Census Partnership

UCTP Taino News - The United Confederation of Taino People this month affirmed its commitment to partnering with the U.S. Census Bureau during the 2010 Census. The announcement was issued via a proclamation by the Confederation's Office of International Relations and Regional Coordination. For indigenous Taíno and other American Indian and Alaska Native communities census data can provide tribal leaders with important information to help address community needs.

“Our 2010 commitment follows the precedent set in 2000 when the Confederation participated as an official U.S. Census partner along with other American Indian and Alaska Native community leaders" stated UCTP representative Roberto Borrero. “By clearly identifying ourselves as Taino the census provides a way for community members to express our basic human right of self-determination.”

Who gets counted as an American Indian in the Census is determined by his or her response to the question on the Census form about the person’s race. To the Census Bureau, a person is whatever race or races he or she says they are. It is a matter of self-identification.

“From our understanding the race question is number 9 on the Census form for the first person in the household" said Roger Guayacan Hernandez, a Confederation Liaison Officer in Borikén (Puerto Rico) . He continued noting that “If the box labeled ‘American Indian or Alaska Native’ is checked, that’s how the person is recorded.”

Individuals can insure that they are counted as belonging to the appropriate Tribal Nation by writing in the "principle tribe" in which they are enrolled. The Confederation is urging community members to write “Taino” in this space also provided as part of Question 9 on the Census form.

The Confederation will host several census information related events in the United States and in Boriken during the month of March to encourage community members to “be counted.”

Required once every 10 years by the U.S. Constitution, the census seeks to count everyone in the United States and Puerto Rico, including people of all ages, races and ethnic groups. Census data determine representation at all levels of the government as well as the need for new health care facilities, schools, community centers, roads and more.

UCTPTN 02.16.2010

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