The Native Lands Advocacy Project is happy to announce the beta launch of our interactive data dashboard for the 2012 and 2017 census of Agriculture for American Indian Reservations. The Census of Agriculture for American Indian Reservations represents the most complete source of data on agricultural producers and farms on American Indian Reservations. The NLIS dashboard enables unprecedented access to this data by not only presenting the raw numbers but also making it possible group some or all included reservations, to see the distribution of key variables across reservations, compare change across time, and compare producer characteristics and access between native and non-native farmers and ranchers.
Screenshot of NLIS Census of Agriculture Dashboard
About the Census of Agriculture for American Indian Reservations
It was not until 2002 when the USDA began conducting a special census for American Indian Reservation. The first year was only a pilot study that included Reservations in Montana, South Dakota, and North Dakota and this expanded in 2007 and 2012. The 2012 Census included data for only 76 reservations and the 2017 census includes data for only 75. The Census for American Indian Reservations includes all farms and ranches within the boundaries of the Reservation but does not not distinguish between farmers and ranchers operating on Trust land with those operating in fee or deeded lands within Reservation boundaries.
The published Census reports only quantified each variable for “Native” and “Reservation Total” and does not report statistics for “Non-native” which makes it difficult to understand the extreme disparity that exists between native and non-native producers operation on Native American Reservations. While we have submitted a special tabulation request to the USDA NASS for the data on non-native operators, in the mean time, we have included a provisional calculation for “Non-native” producers, making it possible to analyze the racial disparity in agriculture on Native Lands. Additionally, the way the data is presented by the USDA it makes it difficult to aggregate the data for all reservations to understand the the national statistics, this dashboard makes this calculation possible.
The dashboard includes filters for reservation, census year, and variable in the census. The charts include a pie chart, a jitter plot the shows the distribution of each variable across all reservations by race. The total and median for each variable broken down by native vs. non-native and the percent change between 2012 and 2017 with helpful up and down arrows to quickly indicate direction of change.
The NLIS Also makes the cleaned and formatted data used to create this dashboard available for download on our data portal.