Edna Lee Paisano was a statistician that is credited with improving the accuracy of the 1990 Census. She was part of the Nez Perce tribe and decided to leave her reservation to go to college and work to improve her community. She majored in social work and statistics at the University of Washington, and then went on to open a cultural center for Native Americans in Seattle. In 1976, she became the first Native American to work for the United States Census Bureau. While studying tribal areas, she realized that Native Americans were being undercounted in some areas. This is a problem because federal funding to tribes depends on Census numbers. She started a campaign to increase awareness about the Census in Native American communities and used statistical techniques to make sure all Native Americans were counted. Her work paid off because in 1990, there was a 38% increase in the number of Native Americans counted in the Census.
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