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(Webmaster's note - Received by AISTM 20 December 1999)



Associate Director for Decennial Census

Through:   Preston Jay Waite (Signed)
Assistant Director for Decennial Census

From:    Susan M. Miskura (Signed)
Chief, Decennial Management Division

Subject:   Policy on Using Athletic Teams with American Indian or Alaska
Native Names in Promoting Census 2000

Contact Person:  LaVerne Vines Collins, Assistant to the Associate
Director for Communications, Bld. 3, Rm. 2703, (301)457-8315

This memorandum documents the decision to use an effective outreach vehicle for a complete and accurate census while respecting the concerns of the American Indian and Alaska Native communities.


Athletic teams and popular sports figures can be helpful in promoting the census message. They are valuable in promoting the census because they tend to appeal to a large segment of society that is vital to an accurate census.


American Indians and Alaska Natives point out that sports teams' names and imagery that refer to and stereotype American Indians and Alaska Natives are deeply disparaging and offensive.   The Bureau appreciates these concerns and recognizes the necessity for establishing a position.


Census 2000 promotional activities and materials will feature only those teams that promote or enhance cultural sensitivity and multi-culturalism and will not feature teams (including semi-pro teams) that use American Indian or Alaska Native related names or images.  If an athlete from a team that uses an American Indian or Alaska Native name or image is doing promotional work in support of Census 2000, he or she should be referred to as a member of the professional (sport) team for the city, rather than using the team name or logo.  For example, in lieu of "Atlanta Braves" use Atlanta's professional baseball team.

If the uniform for the team carries an icon or logo that American Indians and Alaska Natives find disparaging or offensive (such as a tomahawk) , the player should not be photographed or appear in uniform when promoting Census 2000.

This memorandum also applies to other sports teams except for teams from American Indian schools or teams on or near reservations. If a team uses a name or image that American Indians or Alaskan Natives find disparaging, refer to the teams as "(city's) local High School team."  Also, avoid photographs of players in uniforms displaying logos that could be considered offensive.

It is hoped that this policy allows the Census Bureau to use an effective outreach vehicle for a complete and accurate census while respecting the concerns of this part of our community.  The Census Bureau encourages our partners for Census 2000 to institute similar guidelines for their promotional activities.