Bipartisan Senators Introduce National American Indian Veterans Charter Bill

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Kevin Cramer, member of the Veterans’ Affairs Committee, joined Senators Mike Rounds and Ben Ray Luján in introducing bipartisan, bicameral legislation to establish a congressional charter for the National American Indian Veterans (NAIV).

Last Congress, the bill passed the Senate unanimously. “Serving in the armed forces at higher rates than any other demographic, Native American veterans have honorably answered the call and defended our nation in every war since the American revolution,” said Senator Cramer. “Every U.S. veteran deserves the benefits they earned. A Congressional Charter recognizes the National American Indian Veterans dedication to attaining much-needed assistance, care, and resources for our Native American heroes.”

The legislation has garnered support from over 35 organizations and tribes, including Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation and the Sisseton Wahpeton Sioux Tribe.

Congress grants charters to recognize patriotic and national organizations that operate for charitable, literary, educational, scientific or civil improvement purposes. The NAIV serves the needs and interests of Native American veterans in collaboration with its national leadership and 14 regional offices. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), there are more than 140,000 Native American veterans in the United States.

While congressional charters have been granted to Italian-American, Polish-American, and Catholic-American veteran groups, as of today, no Native American veterans’ organization has received one.