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Confederated Tribes Of The Umatilla Indian Reservation Establish First Vets Center


A signed agreement has let the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation launch its first veteran service office. As KLCC’s Brian Bull reports, it extends an initiative between the Governor’s Office and Oregon’s tribal governments.

The aim is to eventually have a vets center for all nine of the state’s tribes.  Governor Kate Brown says much is owed to Native American veterans, who enlist at a higher per capita rate than any other demographic.

“So it’s absolutely critical that tribal members across the state get the services and benefits to which they are entitled.”

Credit Brian Bull / KLCC
Governor Kate Brown, January 22, 2019.

Sam Spino, Veterans Services Representative for the Umatilla, says the agreement not only allows his tribe to set up digital records for the first time, it’ll also enable better support for many native vets.

“With having an office like this and speaking to somebody who is of the same race as you, and who may have gone through the same trials and tribulations that you’ve gone through, it helps ease that anxiety, that you’re going to be judged.” 

The first tribal vets center was established last summer, when the governor’s office and the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs signed an agreement. 

Copyright 2019, KLCC.

Brian Bull joined the KLCC News Team in June 2016. In his 25+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (22 regional), the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.
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