First Veterans Service Office For Oregon's Native Americans Being Developed

Sep 27, 2018

Oregon will soon see its first service office for Native American veterans. KLCC’s Brian Bull reports.

A pow-wow dancer. Veterans are often honored at these events, including being part of the Grand Entry.
Credit Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs / Flickr.com

This summer, the state Department of Veterans Affairs and the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs signed a memorandum of understanding.

Several tribal members at the 2015 Veteran’s Family and Healing Circle Gathering.
Credit Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs / Flickr.com

Mitch Sparks is Acting Director of the Oregon VA, and part Oglala Lakota. He says this effort has been five years in the making.

“The memorandum of understanding allows the Oregon Department of Veterans Affairs to provide the support services and the network for them to be successful on tribal lands," Sparks tells KLCC. 

"I’m hoping that in this next six months there could be two more tribes that sign one.  And we’ll do the same with them, provide the training and support services needed.”

Sparks doesn’t know yet when there’ll be a grand opening for the Warm Springs veterans center. About 3,900 vets in Oregon are Native American.

Copyright 2018, KLCC.