Fortier Receives Award for Evaluation of Census Process

January 7, 2014

Anthropology Professor Ted Fortier and the research team for the Center for Survey Measurement, U.S. Census Bureau, received a 2013 Praxis Award. The honorable mention award, given by Washington Association of Professional Anthropologists, recognizes outstanding achievements of anthropologists who demonstrate the value of anthropological knowledge, theory, and methods to solve problems in government, nonprofit, and for-profit sectors. Fortier was one of 17 ethnographers acknowledged for their work on “2010 Census Program of Evaluations and Experiments Evaluation: Comparative Ethnographic Studies of Enumeration Methods and Coverage Across Race/Ethnic Groups in the 2010 U.S. Census.”

For the study, which involved American Indians, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, Asians, blacks, non-Hispanic whites, Hispanics, Middle Easterners, and others populations, ethnographers observed, audiotaped live interviews, and conducted debriefings and surveys to identify and resolve coverage errors in the census process. Fortier’s evaluation and recommendations were reported in “Native American Populations on Reservations: An Ethnographic Evaluation of the 2010 U.S. Census Process of Enumerating Hard to Reach Populations.”

“We found among American Indians on reservations that the persistence of traditional life ways and customs often conflict with standard U.S. Census procedures,” Fortier said. “As result, I recommend that a number of changes be instituted for Indian reservations, including the use of Native speakers and revised census procedures.”

In March, Fortier will present his findings at the annual conference of the Society of Applied Anthropology in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Fortier, who received his PhD from Washington State University, joined the faculty in the College of Arts and Sciences in 2000. He focuses his research and scholarship on human rights and indigenous issues, psychological anthropology, and anthropology of Native America.

The College of Arts and Sciences, the largest college in Seattle University, offers 41 undergraduate major degrees, 36 minors, and 6 master’s degrees.