Congressional Charter for National Indian Veterans Approved by US Senate

NOVEMBER 21, 2022:

South Dakota Senator Mike Rounds (RS.D.) passed legislation creating a Congressional charter for the National American Indian Veterans (NAIV) unanimously in the Senate. Rounds went to the Senate to force this action. Rounds was assisted by Senator Ben Ray Luján (DN.M.) in introducing this bipartisan legislation.

Headquartered in South Dakota on the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribal Reservation, the NAIV is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to the defense of tribal veterans. Originally founded in 2004, NAIV today serves the needs of Native American veterans in all 50 states. The NAIV was formed at the request of former Senators Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii), Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii), and Ben Nighthorse Campbell (R-Colo.) during a 2004 Senate Veterans Affairs Committee hearing.

“We are one step closer to giving our Native American Veterans the recognition they truly deserve and deserve,” said Round. “There are many veterans service organizations chartered by Congress, but none that exclusively serve the interests and needs of Native American veterans. Our bill would change that by recognizing the NAIV’s mission and authority with a Congressional charter. NAIV works closely with Tribal Veterans Services Officers to ensure appropriate benefits and resources are provided to specific Native American veterans. Congress regularly turns to NAIV for input on issues facing Native American veterans. This charter will help give NAIV a larger platform to continue advocating and serving the more than 140,000 Native American veterans living in the United States.”

“I am very grateful to Senator Rounds that he never abandoned this law,” said Don Loudner, a Korean War combat veteran, enlisted member of the Hunkpati Sioux Tribe (Crow Creek Sioux Tribe) and National Commander of National American Indian Veterans, Inc. “Thanks to his efforts and those of the bipartisan team he assembled, we are closer than ever For the past 20 years, that Congress recognizes the sacrifices of generations of American Indians who have heeded the nation’s call and fought in every war since the American Revolution.”

“This charter is long overdue” said Robert Dunsmore, Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Veterans Service Officer. “We, as Native American veterans, want to thank the US Senate for moving this forward. We as veterans have asked for this charter since 2004. Hopefully, we as Native American veterans will have a voice on issues affecting Native American veterans. As a tribal veteran duty officer, I fully support this law.

Congressional charters are awarded by Congress to recognize patriotic and national organizations that operate solely for charitable, literary, educational, scientific, or civic purposes. The NAIV serves the needs and interests of Native American veterans in cooperation with its national leadership and 14 regional offices. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, there are more than 140,000 Native American veterans in the United States. While Italian-American, Polish-American, and Catholic-American veterans’ groups have been issued charters, to date no Native American veterans’ organization has received a charter.

In addition to Rounds and Luján, Senators Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), John Thune (RSD)Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), Kevin Cramer (RN.D.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), and Jerry Moran (R-Kan .)

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8 OCTOBER 2020:

U.S. Reapers Mike Rounds (RS.D.) and John Thune (RS.D.) recently introduced legislation creating a Congressional charter for the National American Indian Veterans (NAIV). Headquartered in South Dakota on the Cheyenne River Reservation, NAIV is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to advocating for tribal veterans. Originally founded in 2004, NAIV today serves the needs of native veterans in all 50 states.

“We are grateful to our local veterans for their service to our country,” said round. “The NAIV helps ensure that the unique needs of our native veterans are met. Our legislation will help strengthen NAIV’s ability to provide unique support to our native veterans as we seek ways to provide them with the care they deserve and deserve.”

“Native American veterans have served our state and country with honor in the U.S. military.” said Thune. “I am pleased to assist Senator Rounds in introducing this resolution to give greater expression to the sometimes unique needs and priorities of Native American veterans.”

“This law is very important to the American Indians, said Don Loudner, a local veterinarian, inductee member of the Crow Creek Sioux Tribe and national commander of the NAIV. “No money is required. It only requires that Congress recognize the sacrifices made by generations of American Indians who have heeded the nation’s call and fought in every war since the Revolution.”

A congressional charter is a law passed by Congress that recognizes the mission and authority of a group or organization. NAIV serves the needs and interests of local veterans in partnership with its national leadership and 14 regional offices statewide. According to VA, as of 2020, there are more than 140,000 Native American veterans in the United States. While Italian-American, Polish-American, and Catholic-American veterans’ groups have been awarded congressional charters, to date no domestic veterans’ organization has received a congressional charter.

Additional co-sponsors include Senate Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), and U.S. Senators Bill Cassidy (R-La.) and Kevin Cramer (RN.D.).

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