Census workers to resume delivering packets to Navajo homes

Window Rock, Ariz. • Census workers will resume dropping off questionnaires at homes on the Navajo Nation this week.

The tribe's legislative branch said the work to deliver paper packets to more than 70,000 homes begins Thursday. The operation that started in mid-March quickly was suspended because of the coronavirus pandemic.

People who receive the packets can fill out the census using the paper forms, by phone or online.

The U.S. Census Bureau said its staff has received training in social distancing and workers have protective equipment to do their jobs. The packets are left at homes in areas where most people do not receive mail at a physical address.

Navajo Nation Council Speaker Seth Damon urged tribal members to complete the form to ensure an accurate count and to list "Navajo" as the individual tribal affiliation. Census data is collected every 10 years and is used to allocate federal funds that support education, infrastructure and human service expenditures.

So far, less than 1% of Navajos have responded on their own, according to the Census Bureau.