The Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs (ODVA) and Confederated Tribes of Umatilla Indian Reservation signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) at the Oregon State Capitol this week that will enable the tribal government to establish its first-ever tribal veteran service office.
“As the daughter of a veteran, I know firsthand how critical the needs are for our service men and women and their families,” said Governor Brown. “I am thrilled about this new partnership, which ensures the veterans of the Confederated Tribes of Umatilla will be able to access the services and benefits they have earned while serving their fellow Americans.”
The tribal veteran service will operate just like a county veteran service office, providing direct services to tribal veterans under ODVA’s power of attorney. Like all county veteran service officers, the tribal veteran representatives (TVRs) will be trained and certified through ODVA.
“We support tribal veteran service offices because we believe veterans are best served in and through their own communities,” said ODVA Director Kelly Fitzpatrick, who signed the MOU with tribal leadership Tuesday morning. “Our veterans deserve the chance to work with service officers who understand their unique challenges, resources, and cultural identity. This is the vision behind our network of county veteran service offices, and the same is true, if not even more so, for our tribal veterans.”
Gary Burke, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, signed the agreement with ODVA on behalf of the Confederated Tribes of Umatilla Indian Reservation. “Our tribes, men and women,