Battered by the virus, tribes race to boost census count
September 14, 2020
LODGE GRASS, Mont. (AP) - When Lauri Dawn Kindness was growing up, her hometown on the Crow Indian Reservation had an arcade, movie theater, gas stations and family cafe along streets shaded by towering cottonwood trees near a bend in the Little Bighorn River. Today, there's only a small grocer and a propane dealer among the deserted lots scattered through downtown Lodge Grass.
Kindness is back here after more than a dozen years in the U.S. Army, including four combat tours, and she wants to help her people. One essential step, she said, is an accurate count on the once-a-decade U.S. census, which will determine how much federal money flows in for housing, schools, health care and other dire needs.
Reaching a full count on most reservations now looks nearly impossible. Less than a month before the Sept. 30 deadline, just a fraction of people have been counted on Crow land, where the coronavirus pandemic has taken a toll.