Academic journal article Cityscape

Household Survey on Tribal Lands: Frame Building through Rural Address-Based Sampling and Traditional Enumeration

Academic journal article Cityscape

Household Survey on Tribal Lands: Frame Building through Rural Address-Based Sampling and Traditional Enumeration

Article excerpt


The Assessment of American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian Housing Needs was designed to study housing needs in U.S. tribal areas. The previous similar assessment was conducted in 1996, prior to the passage of the Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Act of 19961 that fundamentally changed the way federal funding for housing is delivered to Native people.

This study was a 6-year effort, from 2011 to 2017, that included consultations with tribal leaders, analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) administrative data, three surveys, and site visits. The most important new data collection effort in this project was a major in-person household survey in a sample of American Indian and Alaska Native (AIAN) tribal areas. This effort was one of the largest and most complex surveys ever undertaken in Indian country. A nationally representative survey of tribally designated housing entities was also conducted.

The study team took special care to make the process technically effective (that is, to ensure reliable results) and also fully acceptable to the tribes involved. All tribal areas, as defined by the Census Bureau, with an AIAN-alone2 population of at least 150 were eligible for selection. The minimum of 150 was to make sure that a sufficient number of interviews (approximately 30 eligible AIAN households) could be collected from each selected tribe to develop the national estimate, with a proportionally greater number collected from the largest tribes, including the Navajo and Cherokee Nations. The tribal area probabilities were derived from the AIAN-alone population in the 2010 census. From a sample of 595 eligible tribes, the research team selected two embedded representative samples: (1) a representative sample of 120 tribal areas that included the tribally designated housing entities sample; and (2) a representative subsample of 60 tribal areas that included the 40 tribal areas for the household survey and also 20 tribal areas as a reserve, if needed, to replace any of the original 40 sampled tribal areas. The team selected with certainty 7 tribal areas with populations greater than 15,861 AIAN-alone persons for the household survey: (1) Navajo Nation reservation and off-reservation trust land, (2) Cherokee Oklahoma Tribal Statistical Area (OTSA), (3) Lumbee State Designated Tribal Statistical Area, (4) Muscogee (Creek) OTSA, (5) Choctaw OTSA, (6) Chickasaw OTSA, and (7) the Oglala Sioux Pine Ridge Reservation.

After participating in the tribal consultations that HUD held in 2012, the research team worked closely with tribal leaders in each of the 40 tribal areas selected for the household survey to obtain permission to conduct the study. This process ensured tribal stewardship and oversight of any research conducted on sovereign lands while safeguarding community wellbeing and protecting the community from harmful research (Sahota, 2007). Each tribe participating in the study had different protocols and requirements. In nine cases, it was necessary to obtain approval from the tribe's Institutional Review Board and from the tribal government. Ultimately, 37 originally selected tribes and 1 replacement tribe in the sample agreed to participate.3 They included reservationbased tribes; large and small pueblo, woodland, and coastal tribes; tribal jurisdiction service areas in Oklahoma; and native villages in Alaska.

Using tribal-specific sample frames, AIAN households were selected for interviews.4 In-person interviews were conducted with 1,340 households. This article focuses on the development of the household sampling frame in those selected tribal areas. We describe the procedures used and the experiences of this survey in order to guide other researchers working in tribal or in rural areas. Information for each sampled tribe, including their total populations based on the 2010 census, their AIAN-alone populations, the selection probability, the frame method used, estimated coverage, and the unweighted and weighted response rates are in the technical appendixes to the final report (HUD, 2017b). …

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