On November 17, 2022, by unanimous consent, the Senate passed S.1725, a bill to grant a Federal Charter to the National American Indian Veterans, Incorporated (NAIV), a long-term client of Powers. The bill will proceed to the House for consideration in the coming weeks.
Despite hundreds of other American veteran organizations receiving such a charter, Congress has never granted one to a Native American entity, despite the fact that Native Americans serve in the U.S. Armed Forces in higher percentages that than any other group of Americans.
“On behalf of all Native American veterans across our country I want to say how happy I am that the United States Senate has approved legislation championed by Sen. Mike Rounds (R-SD), Sen. Ben Ray Lujan (D-NM) and others to grant the [NAIV] a Federal charter,” said Don Loudner, national commander of the National American Indian Veterans, Inc. (NAIV).
“Native veterans have served in the American armed forces from Valley Forge to the current hot spots around the world and this first step acknowledges their commitment to the nation,” Loudner continued.
With Native Americans serving in the Armed Forces at five times the national average, and in every major conflict for over 200 years, it is fitting and a measure of much-deserved respect that NAIV be awarded a charter.
The NAIV was established in 2002, and since then, it has become the premier national veterans’ private non-profit organization advocating for the interests and needs of Native American veterans and representing 14 regions across the United States.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the NAIV delivered four million medical-grade face masks to veterans and their families, the Indian Health Service, and to 350 tribes in 28 states. In addition to the delivery of masks, the NAIV delivered gowns, gloves, and over 15,000 gallons of hand sanitizer to Native American communities. Their success, which included providing medical supplies to isolated villages in Alaska, can be attributed to competencies gained during service in the U.S military. The NAIV works closely with the Tribal Veterans Services Officer to assure that benefits, compensation, and resources – that have been earned by Native American Veterans – are provided.
Powers Principal, Paul Moorehead, and Director of Tribal Government Relations, Natasha John, worked closely with the NAIV, drafting legislation, and coordinating advocacy efforts with Senator Rounds and others, and providing outreach and advice to Senate Committees: Indian Affairs, Judiciary, and Veterans.