The NCAI Policy Research Center works with tribes and other partners to respond to consultations and requests for input from federal agencies and other entities as needed to ensure that tribal research priorities are included.
Comments and Recommendations:
CENSUS DATA QUALITY
View our letter to the US Census Bureau on 7/25/2022.
DISCLOSURE AVOIDANCE SYSTEM - DIFFERENTIAL PRIVACY - 2020 CENSUS - U.S. CENSUS BUREAU
• U.S. Census Bureau Tribal Consultation on Differential Privacy. The U.S. Census Bureau initiated tribal consultations on its 2020 proposed data products and its plans for disclosure avoidance (privacy protection) that include implementation of a statistical method called Differential Privacy. NCAI sent a letter to the U.S. Census Bureau after much deliberation with a team of data experts and passed a resolution calling on the U.S. Census Bureau to ensure that the 2020 Census data is confidential, accurate, and accessible for tribal governance purposes.
Meaningful tribal consultation is needed on implementation of any privacy methods on the 2020 Census before final decisions are made. Tribal nations must have accurate census data for federal funding formulas, tribal local governance, AI/AN research, and for representation/redistricting. The potential for loss of counts or zero counts for some tribal nations is unacceptable.
Resources on this topic in chronological order: **NOTE new resources below in 2021 section
NCAI Letter calling for immediate tribal consultation on U.S. Census Bureau plans to implement differential privacy methods for the 2020 Census (July 24, 2019)
U.S. Census Bureau Tribal Consultation Letter (September 2019)
NCAI Response Letter (November 20, 2019)
NCAI Resolution #ABQ-19-070 - Calling Upon the U.S. Census Bureau to Consult with Tribal Nations to Ensure Both Privacy and Accuracy of Census Data for Tribal Governance.
Research Policy Update: Differential Privacy and the 2020 Decennial Census: Impact on American Indian and Alaska Native Data (September 2019) *Good basic overview
Webinar: U.S. Census Bureau Tribal Consultation on Differential Privacy and Access to AI/AN Data (October 2019)
Research Policy Update: Decennial Census: Key Uses of the Data (January 2020)
NCAI Letter: Response to U.S. Census Bureau request for comments on proposed 2020 Census Disclosure Avoidance System (DAS) Improvement Metrics (April 23, 2020)
NCAI Letter: Request for immediate consultation and a solution to ensure accurate 2020 Census data for priority use cases important to tribal nations (June 25 2020)
Webinar: A Guide to 2020 Census Data Privacy (August 27, 2020)
NCAI Letter: Requesting immediate tribal consultation before the Data Stewardship Executive Policy Committee meets and makes certain decisions on the DAS (September 9, 2020)
The U.S. Census Bureau Tribal Consultation on the Disclosure Avoidance System scheduled fro 12/16/2020 is postponed per their recent email dated 12/12/2020. The email requests input from tribal nations via specific questions. The Data Stewardship Executive Policy Committee may be meeting to make important decisions by February 2020. Tribal nations are encouraged to provide input.
Latest Demonstration Product Data with Privacy Methods Applied - Analysis is in progress on the most recent demonstration data release in November 2020 determine if recent changes in privacy methods result in more accurate data for tribal nations. Another data release is expected in January 2021 which will should have more recent adjustments that were mentioned by the U.S. Census Bureau in an email from Tribal Affairs.
Video: 2020 Census Data Privacy vs. Accuracy (12/18/2020)
Video: 2020 Census Data Privacy vs. Accuracy - Update (2/12/2021)
GIS Maps: U.S. Census Bureau Demonstration Product Data
- Computer access: https://arcg.is/1zCPXq
- Smart Phone access: https://bit.ly/3liki68
- Instructions/Map Description: https://bit.ly/3eyDgD0
US Census Bureau email to tribal nations announcing Tribal Consultation National Webinar is scheduled on Thursday, February 18, 2021 at 3:00 pm ET. Tribal nations are encouraged to submit comments to questions in the email as soon as possible. (01/08/2021)
NCAI Letter to US Census Bureau in response to Tribal consultation on 2020 Census Disclosure Avoidance System that requested comments by March 5, 2021. The letter requests Tribal consultation continue before final decisions are made.
Federal Register Notice by U.S. Census Bureau announcing a Tribal Consultation Webinar on the 2020 Census Disclosure Avoidance System on May 19, 2021 at 3:00 p.m. EDT.
**NEW RESOURCES 5/17/2021**
Research Policy Update: Differential Privacy and the 2020 Census: A Guide to the Data and Impacts on American Indian/Alaska Native Tribal Nations. *Description of latest updates that may impact Tribal Nation census data
Research Policy Update: 2020 Census Disclosure Avoidance System: Potential Impacts on Tribal Nation Census Data. *Analysis of latest demonstration products for impacts on Tribal Nations
GIS Maps: U.S. Census Bureau Disclosure Avoidance System April 2020 Demonstration Product Data. *See potential gains and losses in counts for AI/AN tribal geographies (lands) in the lastest demonstration product data
- Computer link: https://arcg.is/1fWG4u0
- Smartphone link: https://arcg.is/PrH5C
- Tutorial video on how to use the GIS maps: https://bit.ly/3eNfx43
Webinar: What's the Price of Privacy? 2020 Census Disclosure Avoidance System Impacts on Tribal Nation Census Data. Tuesday, May 18, 2021 from 4:00 - 5:00 p.m. EDT. PowerPoint slides here. Includes some ideas for comments.
2020 Census DAS Metrics review for AI/AN Tribal Lands and AI/AN Population. These metrics describe the errors in the 2010 demonstration data as a result of various planned privacy applications in the November data release and the two April data releases. Metrics converted to percents to better illustrate potential impacts.
U.S. Census Bureau letter to Tribal Nations with information to submit comments.
NCAI Letter to the U.S. Census Bureau on 2020 Census DAS for the May 28, 2021 tribal consultation deadline for comments. Draft Template Letter here. If the template letter doesn't open, right click and copy the link and paste it into a browser.
2020 Census DAS Metrics - Production Run for P.L. 94-171 Redistricting File. These metrics describe the errors 2010 demonstration data as a result of the final production settings as set by the DSEP in June 2021 and are planned for the final production run for the P.L 94-171 redistricting file due to be released in August/September 2021. These metrics are associated with a demonstration product that will be released in September also. The DSEP decision was to make the data more accurate. Our analysis of the metrics showcases changes for AI/AN geographies and AI/AN population data. Metrics converted to percents to better illustrate potential impacts.
NEW: A First Look at the 2020 Census American Indian/Alaska Native Redistricting Data. The purpose of this research brief is to provide Tribal Nations and partners with a first look at American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) population counts collected and released for the 2020 Census P.L. 94-171 Redistricting Data File.
NEW: 2020 Census Results: Regional Tribal Land Data Summary. The purpose of this research brief is to provide a first look at population data for U.S. Census Bureau tribal geographies (tribal lands) collected during the 2020 Census based on the P.L. 94-171 Redistricting Data File.
NEW: 2020 Census Results: NCAI Region Tribal Land Data: The purpose of this data update is to provide a first look at 2020 Census population data for individual tribal geographies (lands) in each NCAI Region as collected during the 2020 Census and based on the P.L. 94-171 Redistricting Data file. The reports for each NCAI Region are listed on the NCAI Policy Research Center Publications page.
NCAI Letter submitted on 12/16/2021 in response to the tribal consultation on the plans of the U.S. Census Bureau to apply privacy measures to the next products from the 2020 Census - the Demographic and Housing Characteristics File (DHC) and the Detailed Demographic and Housing Characteristics File (DDHC).
NIH Tribal Consultation on COVID-19 Research
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) held a tribal consultation session on Thursday, May 28, 2020 to discuss planned research on current or new COVID-19 diagnostic tests and their implementation, and antibody testing in the All of Us Research Program participants. They are planning to fund researchers to conducting the diagnostic testing research in underserved communities and are proposing to conduct this research in tribal communities. The All of Us Research Program previously agreed to not use any AI/AN data and not recruit until tribal consultation was completed.
The relevant documents for the tribal consultation are listed below:
NCAI letter submitted to NIH in response to the tribal consultation - view here.
- UPDATE FROM NIH (05/08/2020)
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) sent a letter to NCAI with an update on several existing tribal consultations. Read the letter here.
• NIH DRAFT Data Management and Sharing Policy. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) initiated a consultation on data sharing and management for NIH funded or supported research on April 17, 2019. View the NIH letter. NCAI hosted a webinar with NIH on the topic. On November 8, 2019, NIH issued a Request for Public Comments on a DRAFT NIH Policy for Data Management and Sharing and Supplemental DRAFT Guidance in the Federal Register. NCAI sent a letter to NIH in response to the tribal consultation with comments on the draft and a request for tribal consultation on the draft policy. View the NCAI letter here. The NIH plans to consult with tribal nations on this draft policy in 2020 before a final policy is published.
ALL OF US RESEARCH PROGRAM
• NIH Consultation on the All of Us Research Program - NCAI Letter. NCAI submitted a letter with formal comments to the NIH tribal consultation on the All of Us Research Program that was initiated on March 24, 2019. NCAI wrote a previous letter on September 30, 2019 requesting the tribal consultation deadline be extended , and NIH did extend the deadline to November 30, 2019. NCAI encourages tribal nations to submit letters by the deadline, and a template letter is included below along with our letter, its attachments, the prior letter, and the NIH tribal consultation letter and materials. We have also included a link to the NCAI Policy Research Center webinar on this topic in June 2019. NIH indicates that it will publish a summary of the consultation input by summer 2020. For now, NIH has agreed to not actively recruit AI/ANs on tribal lands and not make public data from any AI/ANs already recruited to participate until the tribal consultation input is considered. The NIH Tribal Advisory Committee is monitoring the outcomes of the tribal consultation. Tribal nations should make sure they have tribal research laws and policies in place that govern research, data ownership, and intellectual property rights from research.
----Attachment 1 - NCAI Resolution#ABQ-19-061 - Calling Upon the National Institutes of Health to Consult with Tribal Nations and Establish Policies and Guidance for Tribal Oversight of Data on Tribal Citizens Enrolled in the All of Us Research Program
---- Template letter
-- NCAI Letter requesting NIH to extend the time for comments to the consultation (see paragraph below, September 30, 2019)
• NIH Consultation on the All of Us Research Program. NCAI letter with comments about the NIH tribal consultation process, the need for an extension of time for comments, clearer timelines, challenges with RFI process, need for government to government consultation, protection of AI/AN data until consultation completed, and importance of incorporating tribal oversight into the process for the All of Us Research Program.
• NIH All of Us Research Program Draft Tribal Consultation Report (August 17, 2020). The NIH All of Us Research Program released a draft report with its key commitments to AI/AN communities based on issues raised in tribal consultations to date. After a review of tribal input to this draft report, the All of Us Research Program will release a final report in early 2021. View updates on the All of Us Tribal Engagement website.
INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS IN BIOMEDICAL RESEARCH
• NIH Consultation on Intellectual Property Rights in Biomedical Research - NCAI Letter with comments to NIH tribal consultation letter dated April 17, 2019 on NIH policies on Intellectual Property, Inventions, and Patent Rights in Biomedical Research. NCAI encourages tribal nations to submit comments. For more information, view the NIH letter, framing paper, webinar, and slides from the NCAI Mid Year Conference NIH tribal consultation on our 14th Annual Tribal Leader/Scholar Forum proceedings page here.
PAST RESEARCH RECOMMENDATIONS
• NIH RFI - Proposed Provisions for a Draft NIH Data Management and Sharing Policy (12/10/2018). This NIH RFI was released in 2018 with limited questions for public response. The NIH DRAFT Data Management and Sharing Policy was then released in the federal register in 2019 - see above for the NCAI response letter.
• NCAI Comments on Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for “Human Subjects Research Protections: Enhancing Protections for Research Subjects and Reducing Burden, Delay, and Ambiguity for Investigators” (10/25/2011)
• National Indian Health Board Letter to the National Institutes of Health regarding NIH Research Funding and Review for American Indian/Alaska Native Populations (11/7/2013)
• “Race, Ethnicity, and NIH Research Awards” (Ginther, et al. 2011) published in Science
• Information on NIH’s efforts to eliminate Health Disparities, including opportunities for researchers with a dedicated commitment to Native communities