Since 1915 Native American Heritage has been publicly recognized. Since the turn of the century November has been declared Native American Heritage Month. It is important to recognize the rich heritage and contributions of Native Americans to the service to our Nations military.
In 2007 Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs partnered with the Minnesota Indian Affairs Council to create an outreach program to ensure Native American Veterans are provided professional assistance and advocacy. The Tribal Veteran Service Officer (TVSO) Division has worked since its beginning to provide services including Representation to the Federal VA and the submission of local and State benefits applications on behalf of Native Americans throughout the State of Minnesota.
MDVA Tribal Veterans Service Officer Program aims to ensure this successful program continues ease of access to benefits earned for serving our country. Field Operations Supervisor James Miller states, “It is important to remember our responsibility to our Native American Veterans and to provide service in the midst of geographical challenges by maintaining the mobility of our TVSO and Field Operations Staff.”
Supervisor Miller continues, “We will send an Advocate anywhere in the State of Minnesota to help a Veteran in need.”
Native Americans account for approximately five percent of Minnesota’s Veterans, and since the start of the program in late 2007, TVSO’s have helped thousands of Veterans apply for benefits. In 2012 alone, the program assisted 5,900 clients over the phone and in person at 21 events throughout the community.
MDVA recognizes Native Americans throughout the month of November, for culture, military service and continued dedication to our Great Nation. To learn more about the TVSO program or get in touch with a TVSO Officer who may assist you please visit MinnesotaVeteran.org's TVSO page.