Confederated Tribes Of The Umatilla Indian Reservation Establish First Vets Center

Jan 28, 2019

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.

Members of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation participating in the Happy Canyon Pageant, 2010.
Credit Peter / Flickr.com

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.”

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

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.