Many tribes, including my own Kiowa people recorded significant events on a buffalo or deer hide each year called Wintercount. If I was keeping a Wintercount and recording the past year in the old way, I would draw a baby in a cradle board to signify the birth of my first granddaughter as one of the highlights of the year. I would probably also draw a Mickey Mouse head to signify the family trip to Disney world with both my children and grandchildren. Another picture might be of a tent with a backdrop of the Rocky Mountains to signify a family camping trip with both my grand kids, or of a car to record a trip to my grandson’s birthday. As you can guess, most of the events I would record would be around special times with my kids and grand kids. It’s been said that children are the Creator’s gift to families, and I hold that thought close to my heart. If you’re wondering what does this have to do with anything, it’s my way of letting everyone know the importance of having our Indian children counted in the 2020 Census. One of the top 5 initiatives in the 2020 Census is a focus on having children under the age of 5 counted. Think about the babies who will be born in 2020. The first smiles, the first steps. The first words. In the years to come, some may need day care, after school care, or school lunch programs. And all children will need safe communities in which to grow and thrive. That’s why it’s so important that we count newborn babes and young children accurately. Responding to the 2020 Census can help shape resources for children and their communities over the next decade. This could include support for health insurance programs, hospitals, child care, food assistance, schools, and early childhood development programs. If you have children in your home, make sure they are counted in the right place. A complete and accurate count of young children is important, but difficult. Learn more by visiting 2020census.gov/en/who-to-count/young-children.html . The Denver Indian Center is an official “Mobile Questionnaire Assistance Center” and has a certified Census 2020 official person available to help answer questions or fill out your census forms. Contact the Denver Indian Center to see what times and days they are available… Indian Country Counts!!!