The National American Indian Veterans (NAIV) organization will receive a congressional charter, marking the first Native American-dedicated group and the first veterans group to receive a charter in 15 years.
The charter was included in 2024 the National Defense Authorization and allows the organization to testify about veterans issues before Congress. It allows accreditation of NAIV members by the Department of Veterans Affairs to assist veterans and their families with benefit claims.
According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, charters - or laws passed by Congress that stipulate the mission, authority and activities of a group - have been granted to other nationalities and religious groups, but no Native American veterans organizations have received one. There are more than 140,000 Native Veterans in the United States, and advocates say a Native American charter is long overdue.