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

Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs

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

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

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

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.

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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