Archive for February 18th, 2011
Some interesting numbers came out of the census counts this week, producing headlines concerning Indian populations around the country. One that sparked dozens of stories was the news that, based on 2010 Census numbers, Hispanics now outnumber Indians in Oklahoma.
In South Dakota, the Native population was found to be up 15 percent. The jump was attributed to a high birth rate and the return home of many to their reservations, the Rapid City Journal reported, but some are skeptical.
An official with the Oglala Sioux Tribe on the Pine Ridge Reservation, which encompasses all of Shannon County and parts of Jackson and Bennett counties, questioned Census numbers for Shannon County, which is 96 percent Native American and had 13,586 residents in 2010.
“I am totally skeptical of those numbers,” said Myron Pourier, Fifth Member representative for OST.
Pourier estimates the population of the Pine Ridge Reservation at 40,000.
Many news stories reporting the news that Hispanics now outnumber Indians in Oklahoma noted that the state has “long been the heart of Indian County,” but census numbers show a drop in Natives.
As MSNBC reported:
While Oklahoma is likely to maintain the nation’s largest per capita population of Native Americans, their numbers are shrinking and the Hispanic population is booming.
Over the past decade, the number of Hispanics has nearly doubled from 179,304 in 2000 to 332,007 in 2010. Hispanics now account for 9 percent of the state’s 3.75 million residents, compared to 8.5 percent for Native Americans.
“I’m surprised,” said former House Speaker Larry Adair, chairman of the Cherokee Nation Gaming Commission. “I didn’t realize we had that number of Hispanic people in Oklahoma.”