Source: Brookings Institution

According to a new report from the National Academy of Sciences found that low quality data on Native American and Alaskan families has made it difficult to create and adjust existing programs that are supposed to, in theory, help these families.

Previous data has shown that poverty rates among Native American and Alaskan children have “exceeded 40 percent for almost 30 years” reports Brookings Institution, but the accuracy of these numbers is hard to verify.

This lack of accurate data is detrimental in many ways, including in how it affects children within Native American families.

For example, Brookings Institutions writes “Historically, high levels of perceived poverty have been used to justify the removal of American Indian children from their households by state foster care systems.” In many cases, the only factor that is being considered when removing a child from his home is the income of the family, and not many other factors that are unique to the American indian community in how they care for their children.

For someone who is collecting data and is unfamiliar with the Native American community, they might not understand the common practice of sharing resources within tribes, and this misunderstanding leads to inaccurately categorizing Native American families and their children and might even put them at risk of being torn apart as a family.

Read Full Story: Brookings Institution

 

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Inadequate Data on Native American Families Leads to Inadequate Programs