September 28, 2016
Bookmark and Share

VA Expands Native American Outreach

WASHINGTON--The Department of Veterans Affairs has announced the creation of a new Office of Tribal Government Relations to ensure the more than 200,000 Veterans who are American Indians, Alaska Natives, Hawaiian Natives or are part of the Alaska Native Corporations receive the VA benefits they have earned.

“VA is committed to providing these Veterans with the full range of VA programs, as befits their service to our nation.”
“There is a long, distinguished tradition of military service among tribal peoples,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. “VA is committed to providing these Veterans with the full range of VA programs, as befits their service to our nation.”

About 200,000 Veterans are represented by the 800 tribal governments officially recognized by the United States. Although VA has long provided benefits to Veterans in tribal lands, the new office will further strengthen and expand that relationship.

Stephanie Elaine Birdwell, an enrolled member of the Cherokee Nation from Oklahoma, has been selected as the office’s first director. A former social worker, she has spent nearly 15 years working on tribal issues with the Bureau of Indian Affairs and, most recently, the Bureau of Indian Education.

She will oversee a six-person office responsible for “establishing, maintaining and coordinating a nation-to-nation, federal-tribal relationship,” according to a VA briefing.

The office has a charter that officially extends to Veterans who are American Indians, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians and Alaska Native Corporations.


STORY TAGS: NATIVE AMERICAN NEWS, INDIAN NEWS, NATIVE NEWS, MINORITY NEWS, CIVIL RIGHTS, DISCRIMINATION, RACISM, DIVERSITY, RACIAL EQUALITY, BIAS, EQUALITY

Video

White House Live Stream
LIVE VIDEO EVERY SATURDAY
alsharpton Rev. Al Sharpton
9 to 11 am EST
jjackson Rev. Jesse Jackson
10 to noon CST


Video

LIVE BROADCASTS
Sounds Make the News ®
WAOK-Urban
Atlanta - WAOK-Urban
KPFA-Progressive
Berkley / San Francisco - KPFA-Progressive
WVON-Urban
Chicago - WVON-Urban
KJLH - Urban
Los Angeles - KJLH - Urban
WKDM-Mandarin Chinese
New York - WKDM-Mandarin Chinese
WADO-Spanish
New York - WADO-Spanish
WBAI - Progressive
New York - WBAI - Progressive
WOL-Urban
Washington - WOL-Urban

Listen to United Natiosns News