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Veterans Administration gives accreditation Navajo Nation VA

Navajo Veterans
Navajo Nation Office of the President and Vice President
U.S. Veterans Secretary Denis McDonough (middle right) met with Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez (middle left) on Tue, June 28, 2022 in Gallup, N.M. to announce the official accreditation of the tribe's VA.

For the first time ever, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has given accreditation to a tribal veterans organization.

The federal agency this week officially recognized the Navajo Nation Veterans Administration under the Tribal Representation Expansion Program.

It allows the Navajo Nation to assist tribal veterans with benefit and pension claims.

On Tuesday U.S. Veterans Secretary Denis McDonough traveled to Gallup, N.M., and was joined by President Jonathan Nez.

Five Navajo staff members are now authorized to assist the tribe’s veterans, and according to officials they’ve taken and submitted more than 80 claims into the federal VA system since the beginning of May.

Navajo veterans previously had to travel to VA centers located off the reservation to submit claims. Nez called the recognition a “milestone achievement” and a “step forward for Navajo veterans.”