Reconsidering Data Collection on Native Americans

“The concept of “race” can be a problematic descriptor for Native American identity, which is a political and legal identity in addition to a racial one,” according to a new research report from the Brookings Institution. “By rethinking how the federal government collects and publishes data on Native Americans, we can begin to better assess the challenges they face and ensure the population is accurately represented when that data is used in research and policy.”

The report also explores how other countries have separated “data collection around Indigenous populations from racial identity. For example, both Canada and Australia ask about Indigenous identity in a separate census question, rather than as only one option among several races.”

It further recommends empowering “tribes to collect and manage data about their own populations and territories.”

The authors conclude that, “the current practice of measuring Native Americans using mutually exclusive, single-race data is not working well.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s