Rounds, Thune boost Native American vets’ group

S.D.-base group serves vets in all 50 states

WASHINGTON, D.C. — South Dakota’s U.S. Senators are taking steps to give a boost to a nationwide Native American veterans’ group based in the state.

Naiv LogoMike Rounds and John Thune are co-sponsoring a bill that would give the group, National American Indian Veterans, a congressional charter.

A congressional charter recognizes the mission and authority of a group or organization.

NAIV is headquartered in Eagle Butte on the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation.

“We don’t know of any single national organization or state organization that opposes it,” said Rounds. “They do good work, they focus on Native American needs for veterans, and it’s time we recognize the work they do with a national charter.

“[The charter] allows them to speak at the national level directly with the V.A. and with Congress. The other organizations come into Washington, D.C., representing the interest points that they have. And they share with the Veterans Affairs Committee and so forth what they’re working on. So they have a voice in Washington.”

Senator Thune added the measure would give voice to the unique needs and priorities of Native American vets.

Don Loudner is the commander of NAIV. He notes the legislation asks for no money, only that Congress recognize the sacrifices of American Indians who have answered the nation’s call in every war since the American Revolution.

The non-profit, non-partisan organization was founded in 2004. It serves the needs of Native American veterans in all 50 states.

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