Serving American Indian/Alaska Native (AIAN) Veterans

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For generations, Native American and Alaska Native veterans have had a history of proud and distinguished service in the U.S. military forces. Native American veteran tribal communities are unique from other veteran populations across the nation and bring both strengths and challenges to the development of outreach and engagement in planning events for American Indian tribes and Alaska Native veterans. Click here to view NVTI’s informative pamphlet on Working with American Indian and Alaska Native Veterans.
The National Veterans’ Training Institute (NVTI) offers other resources to help veteran service professionals acquire a better understanding of how to assist the Native American veteran population. Read the article, Serving Native American Veterans here:

AI/AN Special Emphasis Program (SEP)
The VA AI/AN Special Emphasis Program (SEP) is designed to create plans to address potential and validated discriminatory and inequitable practices in hiring and employment and ensure full participation of AI/ANs by implementing plans to eliminate adverse data trends at all levels of the agency.

Building Blocks for Cultural Integration in the Development and Establishment of Rural VA Telemental Health Clinics for Native Veterans:
This document provides a short overview, suggestions and tips for setting up, operating and maintaining Telemental Health (TMH) Clinics, in the form of live interactive videoconferencing, for rural Native Veterans located on American Indian lands or reservations, Alaska Native Corporations and communities, and Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander lands and communities.

Council for Tribal Employment Rights (CTER)
The Council for Tribal Employment Rights (CTER) is a community based Indian owned and operated non-profit organization that is comprised of and represents the interests of over 300 Tribal and Alaska Native Villages that are covered by employment rights ordinances.

Division of Indian and Native American Programs (DINAP)
The Division of Indian and Native American Programs (DINAP) Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Section 166 grantees and the Department of Labor share a vision of providing quality employment and training services to tribes, tribal organizations, Alaska Native entities, Indian controlled organizations and Native Hawaiian organizations serving unemployed and low income Native Americans, Alaska Natives and Native Hawaiians.

Federally Recognized Indian Tribes and Resources for Native Americans
Information and resources for AIAN entities including which tribes the federal government recognizes, food assistance, financial assistance and services, and housing assistance.

Hesperus is a non-profit organization dedicated to serving underserved tribal populations, especially veterans, with education and employment. and Veterans Preference
The Bureau of Indian Affairs’ (BIA) mission is to enhance the quality of life, to promote economic opportunity, and to carry out the responsibility to protect and improve the trust assets of American Indians, Indian tribes and Alaska Natives. This includes distinguishing Indian and Veterans Preference.

Montana Budget and Policy Center (MBPC)
The Montana Budget and Policy Center (MBPC) is a nonprofit organization focused on providing credible and timely research and analysis on budget, tax, and economic issues that impact low- and moderate-income Montana families, including American Indian (AI) families. To learn more about the health and economic impact of COVID-19 on the AI population, visit:

National Congress of American Indians (NCAI)
The National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) was established in 1944 in response to the termination and assimilation policies the US government forced upon tribal governments in contradiction of their treaty rights and status as sovereign nations. To this day, protecting these inherent and legal rights remains the primary focus of NCAI. To this end, NCAI offers an introductory guide on Tribal Nations at:

National Museum of the American Indian
The Why We Serve exhibition honors the generations of American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian members of the United States Armed Forces, and commemorates the National Native American Veterans Memorial, dedicated at the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C.

National Resource Directory (NRD)
The National Resource Directory (NRD) is a resource website that connects wounded warriors, Service Members, Veterans, their families, and caregivers to programs and services that support them. The NRD is hosted, managed, maintained, sustained and developed by the Defense Health Agency’s Recovery Coordination Program. NRD provides access to services and resources at the national, state and local levels to support recovery, rehabilitation and community reintegration.

Native American Direct Loan (NADL)
If you’re a veteran, and either you or your spouse is Native American, the Native American Direct Loan (NADL) program may help you get a loan to buy, build, or improve a home on federal trust land. You may also get a loan to refinance an existing NADL and reduce your interest rate. Find out if you qualify for an NADL—and how to apply.

Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP)
The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) and its Indian and Native American Employment Rights Program (INAERP) support federal contractors’ efforts to foster outreach and inclusion of Native Americans. Below is a list of best practices and strategies to help with efforts and make your diversity and inclusion programs successful.

Office of Native American Programs (ONAP)
The Office of Native American Programs (ONAP) administers housing and community development programs that benefit American Indian and Alaska Native tribal governments, tribal members, the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, Native Hawaiians, and other Native American organizations.

Office of Tribal Government Relations (OTGR)
The VA’s Office of Tribal Government Relations (OTGR) consults with AIAN tribal governments to develop partnerships that enhance access to services and benefits by veterans and their families.

Practical Reforms & Other Goals to Reinforce the Effectiveness of Self Governance & Self Determination for Indian Tribes (PROGRESS) Act
Public Law 116-180, also known as the Practice Reforms & Other Goals to Reinforce the Effectiveness of Self Governance & Self Determination for Indian Tribes (PROGRESS), was signed into law on October 21, 2020. It amends subchapter 1 of the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act (ISDEAA).

SAMHSA American Indian and Alaska Native Culture Card:
This guide enhances cultural competence when serving American Indian and Alaska Native communities. It covers regional differences, cultural customs, spirituality, communication styles, the role of veterans and older adults, and health disparities.

The Indian Self-determination and Education Assistance Act (ISDEAA), enacted by Public Law 93-638 in 1875, allowed Indian tribes to have more autonomy and opportunity to assume responsibility for programs and services that are administered to them on behave of the Secretary of the Interior.

Social Security Administration (SSA) FAQs
The Social Security Administration (SSA) has created an FAQ section for AIAN individuals.
Verification of Indian Preference for Employment in the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Indian Health Service Form:
Applicants seeking employment in the Indian Health Service and/or Indian Affairs use this form to establish evidence of Indian preference as part of the application process. The Family History Chart is also used as part of the Indian Preference verification process.

Tribal HUD-VASH Program
The Tribal HUD-VA Supportive Housing program (Tribal HUD-VASH) will provide rental assistance and supportive services to Native American veterans who are Homeless or At Risk of Homelessness living on or near a reservation or other Indian areas.

U.S. Domestic Sovereign Nations: Land Areas of Federally-Recognized Tribes
Interactive map

Webcast: Working with Tribal Governments to Serve Veterans in Indian Country (March 2014):
On March 25, 2014 in collaborations with VHA, CBO, and IHS OTGR hosted the webcast VA Working with the Indian Health Service and Tribal Governments to Serve Veterans in Indian Country that featured subject matter experts across Indian Country who will discussed in-depth, “How to establish Reimbursement Agreements between the VA and Tribal Health Programs.”