Above: Community members learn how to use small GPS receivers as part of their training to become census enumerators.
This week a team from Village Earth and Colorado State University began training enumerators to conduct a community-based census on the Rosebud Reservation in rural South Dakota. Like many Native American Reservations and rural communities across the United States, the residents of the Rosebud Reservation feel that they have been undercounted in the Federal Census. This is a serious problem for these communities because it translates into a reduction in needed State and Federal allocations for things like housing, health care, infrastructure, and other government mandated assistance. This was the case for the neighboring Pine Ridge Reservation who, with the help of Colorado State University, Village Earth and the National Science Foundation, conducted their own census using GIS, GPS, and remote sensing technology and successfully challenged their federal census figures, nearly doubling their population.
Above: Village Earth trains community members how to locate houses from the computer generated random sample using small handheld GPS receivers and map books created using GIS.