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Cherokees among NCAI art competition winners
By STAFF REPORTS
Thurs, Oct 28, 2010
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – Cherokee students were among 15 winners of the National Congress of American Indians’ “Indian Country Counts” national art competition for pre-kindergarten to post-secondary Native students.
The NCAI created the “Indian Country Counts” campaign in partnership with the U.S. Census Bureau to aid tribes with the count and ensure an accurate enumeration of all Native people.
Kelsey Kester and Lilli Jordan, both of Westville tied for second place in the Pre-k to kindergarten group, while Kinley Soap of Stilwell placed second in the first- through third-grade group.
Contest winners in grades pre-k to kindergarten won a Leap Frog Leapster 2 Learning System or a Tag Learn Read Storybook Pack. Winners in grades 1-3 won a Nintendo DSiXL or a Leap Frog Tag Dr. Seuss Reading Gift Pack, and winners in fourth grade and above won a Wii or an iPod Nano.
“NCAI wanted to engage young people in this very important count that determines so many things, including funding for our schools, Head Start and elderly programs,” NCAI Executive Director Jacqueline Johnson Pata said. “This art competition was to showcase that Native people are still here. This is a celebratory activity encouraging some of our youngest tribal members to support their families’ participation in the census.”
NCAI received 85 art entries from Native students ages 4 to 48 representing more than a 100 tribal nations across the U.S. The entries depicted creation stories, tribal symbols and the American flag, with many incorporating the census and NCAI’s campaign theme, “2010 Census: Our People. Our Nations. Our Future.”
Historically, American Indians and Alaska Natives are among the nation’s hardest populations to count because of a mistrust of the federal government, as well as linguistic, geographical and cultural challenges. American Indians were severely undercounted in past censuses. The Census Bureau estimates that more than 12 percent of Native people on reservations were missed in the 1990 census and more than 4 percent in 2000.
Pictures from the contest winners are available for viewing on the Indian Country Counts website.