The Census Powwow

June 17, 2021
Jazz Bearstail wears a mask while he dances traditional at a powwow.

Cheyenne Brady knew next to nothing about the US census when she was given the job of counting everyone on her reservation. Writer Julian Brave Noisecat follows her through the ups and downs of the 2020 census, culminating in the first-ever Census Powwow.

This story features descriptions of genocide and historical trauma, sensitive listeners please be advised.

A big, big thank you to everyone on the Fort Berthold Reservation. Especially Cheyenne Brady and her family: Novi Runs Above, Holy Rope, Tayvin, Poncho, Tookie, Uncle Thomas, and Grandma Florence.

Thank you also to Charlie Moran, Tavares Fimbres, Gabrielle Wilkinson, and Braedyn Taft, and Jazz Bearstail. Thanks to our friends at KMHA radio: Anne Morsette, Will Maguire, Ricky Raine, and Shelley Krueger for administering a rapid COVID test.

And big thanks to the whole Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation.

Sincerest thanks to Dr. Cheryl Ann Kary, Cheryl Keepseagle, Logan Davis, Barb Anguino, D’Vera Cohn,  Byard Duncan, David Rodriguez, and Lycia Ortega Maddocks.

This story was produced in partnership with Type Investigations.

The original score was by Cheflee and Pat Mesiti-Miller

This story was produced and reported by Julian Brave NoiseCat and John Fecile

It was written by Julian Brave NoiseCat

Season 12 – Episode 24

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Producer Credit:
Original Score: 

Teo Ducot

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