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SD Census Numbers in Question

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As the Census Bureau continues to release its reports state by state, there have been some interesting finds so far. The first came last week as the reports showed that Hispanics edged out American Indians in Oklahoma’s Population.

Now there are issues with the latest release out of South Dakota.

Herbert Hoover, a University of South Dakota history professor emeritus, said he believes that segment of state residents is undercounted, the AP reported. Hoover said he thinks Indians account for about 15 percent of South Dakota’s total population, not the 8.8 percent cited by the Census Bureau.

And tribal leaders Duane Big Eagle, Crow Creek tribal chairman, Myron Pourier of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, and Robert Cournoyer Sr., Yankton Sioux tribal chairman, appear to disagree on the numbers.

Big Eagle believes an 84 percent American Indian population rate in Buffalo County is accurate, but the 10.45 percent for Hughes County is incorrect; along with the 8.45 percent rate in Hyde County, according to The Daily Republic.

Pourier told the AP he is skeptical of official census numbers for Shannon County, saying the reservation population has quadrupled recently.

Cournoyer, feels the official tally for Charles Mix County, where the reservation is, of 2,893 residents being American Indian should be closer to 3,500.

Census numbers are used to gauge federal assistance given to reservations, the funding helps with various projects.