Native Americans have been vital to the Armed Forces for more than 200 years. After serving, these Veterans need access to local representatives to help with benefits claims. Many do not have easy access to these services.
VA has regulations governing which organizations can help Veterans and survivors with their benefit claims. This used to be limited to federal, state, and local or regional organizations. As of March 2017, Tribal organizations may have similar recognition as state organizations. This allows Tribal organizations to help Veterans and survivors in their communities with claims.
We encourage Tribal organizations to seek formal recognition. This expands support to the Veterans in their communities. It also provides culturally appropriate support to Veterans where they live and keeps Veterans from driving great distances to seek help.
To qualify, Tribal organizations must:
While we only recognize one organization per tribe, several tribes can create one organization and apply.
To request VA recognition, Tribal organizations must submit a letter to the Secretary of VA. This letter should address all qualifications, as set by VA.
Request letters must include:
Request letters must also include all necessary supporting documents. Review “A ‘How-To’ Guide for Requesting VA Recognition as a ‘Tribal Organization’” for the information you need to apply. You can also email the Office of Tribal Government Relations at TribalGovernmentConsultation@va.gov or visit their website.