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Rubio Joins Rounds, Luján, Colleagues to Reintroduce Bill Creating Congressional Charter for National American Indian Veterans Organization

May 21, 2021 | Press Releases

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL), Mike Rounds (R-SD) and Ben Ray Luján (D-NM) reintroduced bipartisan legislation to create a Congressional Charter for the National American Indian Veterans (NAIV), a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to advocating for tribal veterans. Originally started in 2004, today the NAIV serves the needs of Native veterans in all 50 states. 
“By creating this congressional charter, the National American Indian Veterans, Inc. will receive due recognition for the important services they provide to Native veterans,” Rubio said. “I’m proud to join this effort to ensure that the needs of Native Americans who bravely fought for our country are properly met.” 
“There are many congressionally chartered veterans service organizations, but none that solely represent the interests and needs of Native American veterans,” Rounds said. “Our bill would change that by recognizing the mission and authority of the National American Indian Veterans, Inc. (NAIV) with a congressional charter. NAIV works closely with Tribal Veterans Services Officers to make certain the Native veterans receive proper benefits and resources. Congress regularly looks to NAIV for input when addressing issues facing Native veterans. This charter will help give NAIV a larger platform to continue advocating for and serving the more than 140,000 Native veterans living in the United States.”
“Native Americans have served our nation honorably in the Armed Forces – often times at higher rates than any other demographic. I’m proud to introduce bipartisan legislation to create a Congressional Charter for the National American Indian Veterans Organization. NAIV is a crucial resource for Native veterans that delivers critical assistance and ensures that they have access to the benefits that they have earned,” Luján said. “As a member of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, I’ll continue fighting to fulfill the commitment our nation made to Native veterans.”
A congressional charter is a law passed by Congress that recognizes the mission and authority of a group or organization with a patriotic, charitable, historical, or educational purpose. The NAIV serves the needs and interests of Native veterans in collaboration with its national leadership and 14 regional offices throughout the state. According to the VA, in 2020 there are more than 140,000 Native veterans in the United States. While Congressional Charters have been granted to Italian-American, Polish-American and Catholic-American veterans groups, as of today, no Native veterans’ organization has received a Congressional Charter.
Additional original cosponsors include Senators John Thune (R-SD), Dan Sullivan (R-AK), Jim Inhofe (R-OK), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Steve Daines (R-MT), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), and Jerry Moran (R-KS).