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March 12 event at Agency Longhouse features George Aguilar, ECE powwow, meal and online filing.

COURTESY U.S. CENSUS - The 2020 Census is kicking off in Warm Springs March 12.The Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs has been asked by the United States Census Bureau to be the location for the first count in Oregon for the 2020 decennial census on Thursday, March 12, the first day the 2020 census can be completed online.

"The Census Bureau values tribal partnerships and is committed to a complete and accurate count of our nation's first peoples," said a news release from the bureau.

George Aguilar Sr. will complete the first count at his home privately. The Wasco elder and lifelong resident of Warm Springs, as well as a Korean War veteran, will turn 90 this year. He has worked as a laborer, fisherman, logger, construction manager and author — he won the 2006 Oregon Book Award for Creative Nonfiction for "When the River Ran Wild! Indian Traditions on the Mid-Columbia and the Warm Springs Reservation."

The kickoff event starts at 9 a.m. March 12 at the Agency Longhouse, 1253 Kot-Num Road.

After a meet and greet with Aguilar, a welcome address will start at 9:30 a.m., with a mini powwow by Warm Springs Early Childhood Education at 10 a.m. A community meal will be served from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., along with an opportunity to complete the census online.

"The census happens every 10 years. In the past, our reservation community has been undercounted," said Tribal Council Chairman Raymond Tsumpti Sr. "We don't want that to be the case in 2020. I encourage all our tribal members and Warm Springs residents to participate in the census to help provide a better future for our community and future generations."

"Census data directly impacts how the the federal government allocates more than $675 billion every year for programs and services vital for tribal communities, like Medicaid, social services, housing, public safety, veterans services, emergency preparedness, education, school lunches and more," the news release said.


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