Rep. Don Young said “billions in federal funding will be left on the table over the next decade” if census takers can’t get an accurate count in Alaska.
The project reframes discussions about climate change and places Indigenous voices from America’s northernmost city at the forefront.
“It was a really tough decision — but the health and safety of our delegates, participants and attendees comes first,” AFN president Julie Kitka said in a statement.
Census data guides federal funding, but fewer than 50% of Alaska households have responded.
The decision came Tuesday, July 7, 2020, as Tribal nations appeal a ruling in late June that said the Native corporations were eligible to receive the funding.
In Alaska, the names of settlers and explorers can be found everywhere: roads, cities, buildings and statues — all reminders of Alaska’s colonization and the impact it has had on the Indigenous population.