Indigenous Futures Survey flyer. Visit indigenousfutures.org to take the survey. Image/ Native Organizers Alliance

By: Zachary Young, Editor-in-Chief

The Native Organizers Alliance is conducting their second annual Indian Futures Survey. The anonymous survey is a Native-led initiative. The Native Organizers Alliance said the survey will help highlight an authentic and contemporary Native experience, while also bringing awareness to “systemic challenges and priority issues.”

The Alliance is partnered by the IllumiNative and Research for Indigenous Social Action and Equity (RISE). The organizations use the survey to assess the current standing of Indigenous communities.

Aminah Ghaffar, a fellow with the Native Organizers Alliance, said the survey has the potential to influence policy change regarding Native Americans. Ghaffar also mentioned the survey should be important to Southeastern Woodland people such as the Lumbee and Tuscarora since these tribes are often not included in national policy pertaining to Native Americans.

Ghaffar herself is a member of the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina and said her decision to help promote this survey was intentional.

“Oftentimes when we’re talking about policy change, we’re just talking about on the federal level, federally recognized tribes and that’s not representative of all the tribes in the Southeast. So making sure that state-recognized tribes, like most of the tribes in North Carolina, are included in that policy change effort,” Ghaffar said.

The Native Organizers Alliance entered a data sharing agreement with tribal administrations across the country. Tribes that enter the agreement will get the results of the survey taken by their tribal members to better assess their respective tribe’s needs.

The survey asks a variety of questions related to education, local municipalities, local and national politics, mental health, representation in the media, self-determination and many more issues in Native areas.

Approximately 6,000 Natives Americans, across all 50 states participated in the last survey. Those results were presented at the white house to former President Donald J. Trump.

Catherine Cavalier, another fellow with the Native Organizers Alliance, called the initiative “fulfilling.”

“Since I’ve been a fellow sharing the survey and working with NOA, it’s done a fantastic job of connecting and bringing together Natives of all different paths, to raise their voice and boost the communities that so often get overlooked,” Cavalier said.

The survey takes approximately 15 to 20 minutes to complete. All Native Americans 18 years or older are encouraged to participate. The survey will be open until March 31. Participants will be prompted to another shorter optional survey to be entered in a raffle for prizes such as beaded earrings, bolo ties, clothing and more.

For more information visit the survey website at www.indigenousfutures.org. Scan this QR code to access survey.