Char-Koosta News 

FLATHEAD NATION — Next year, the 2020 Census takers will be knocking on the doors of households throughout America. Presently the U.S. Census Bureau is gearing up for the every-10-years count of the nations populace including Indian Country. That includes the hiring and training of Census takers — there is a big need for American Indian Census takers on the Indian Nation Reservations, including the seven reservations in Montana.

The population counts are important for many reasons, most importantly the state population count determines the number of Representatives a state has in the U.S. House of Representatives. Montana had two Representatives until the 1990 Census count determined that Montana’s population count reduced that to one at-large Representative. Montana is presently on the cusp of regaining the seat it lost as a result of the 1990 Census — it all depends on the state count.

Montana’s last two Reps simultaneously in the U.S. House were Republican Ron Marlenee and Democrat Pat Williams. In the ensuing election Pat Williams won the at-large seat.

The other important reason for accurate population counts determines the amount of federal financial aid a state receives.

The Flathead Nation and the other tribal nations in the Big Sky State are currently gearing up for an arduous task ahead.

To that end Tina Begay has been hired as the Census 2020 Tribal Partnership Specialist-Montana. She is responsible for the effort in the state to get a comprehensive census count of the American Indian population on the seven Indian reservations. Begay is currently seeking tribal people to be census takers on their respective reservations.

“Our target is to get the Montana reservation communities members counted in the upcoming 2020 census,” Begay said, adding that there are plenty of positions available for census takers as well as managers for the reservation census takers. She is currently in the process of recruiting tribal census takers for numerous positions that need to be filled. The Census takers in Montana are paid around $13 an hour.

Begay said it is very important to have tribal census takers on their respective reservations because they know the lay of the land and the Indian community. The rural nature of the seven Tribal Nation reservations in the state is best served by Census takers that are tribal because they’re more often than not known by their fellow tribal people. Many of them have post office box addresses instead of rural physical addresses that are served by rural postal delivery. A tribal person familiar with the dispersed tribal population better knows where they reside. There is also a communication factor based on familiarity between Indian people that doesn’t exist in the same sense as in the rest of America. In other words there is an ease of communication, a comfort zone where Indian people respond better to a tribal Census takers questions.

“We know where the people with Post Office box addresses live,” Begay said. “We will go to their physical addresses.”

There are three ways a person can fill out the Census questionnaire. The can do it by phone, on-line and by mail.

“If the people don’t get their questionnaire back by certain date after receiving them, we will go out to their residences and pick them up,” Begay said. “It is also very important that the young children get counted. There were a lot of them not counted in the last Census.”

Begay said time is of the essence when it comes to the hiring process. “People need to apply now,” she said. “January is too late.”

The crunch is related to the public education process and the training of the Census takers.

The Census taker’s TANF will not be affected by the wages they earn.

2020 Census Job Details

In advance of the 2020 Census, the U.S. Census Bureau is recruiting thousands of people for temporary jobs across the country.  


These positions provide the perfect opportunity to earn some extra income while helping your community. The results of the 2020 Census will help determine each state’s representation in Congress, as well as how certain funds are spent for schools, hospitals, roads, and more. This is your chance to play a part in history and help ensure that everyone in your community is counted!  

Job Qualifications

To be eligible for a 2020 Census job, you must:

• Be at least 18 years old.

• Have a valid Social Security number.

• Be a U.S. citizen.

• Have a valid email address.

• Complete an application and answer assessment questions. (Some assessment questions are available in Spanish. However, an English proficiency test may also be required.)

• Be registered with the Selective Service System or have a qualifying exemption, if you are a male born after Dec. 31, 1959.

• Pass a Census-performed criminal background check and a review of criminal records, including fingerprinting.

• Commit to completing training.

• Be available to work flexible hours, which can include days, evenings, and/or weekends. 

Most jobs require employees to:

• Have access to a vehicle and a valid driver’s license, unless public transportation is readily available.

• Have access to a computer with Internet and an email account (to complete training).

If you are employed elsewhere, your current job must be compatible with Census Bureau employment and not create conflicts of interest. These will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Also, you must not engage in any partisan political activity while on duty.

The Census Bureau is an equal opportunity employer. 

For more information, visit: Equal Employment Opportunity page. 

If you are a veteran who served on active duty in the U.S. armed forces and were separated under honorable conditions, you may be eligible for veterans’ preference. Documentation supporting your claim for preference must accompany your application. 

For more information, visit the U.S. Office of Personnel Management Veterans’ Preference page.

How to Apply

Apply, and with one application you may be considered for several positions, including census taker, recruiting assistant, office clerk, and supervisory staff—and help your community while getting paid 

Getting Started

The first step is to complete the online job application. This process should take about 30 minutes and will include some assessment questions about your education, work, and other experience.

Here’s what you’ll need to get started:

• Social Security number

• Home address (physical location and mailing address)

• Email address and phone number

• Date and place of birth

In addition, if you’re a veteran who would like to claim veterans’ preference, you will need supporting documentation. For more information, visit the U.S. Office of Personnel Management Veterans’ Preference page.

If you run into issues during the application process, you can call 1-855-JOB-2020 (1-855-562-2020) and select option 1 for technical assistance or option 3 to speak with someone at your area census office.

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