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Federal agency aims to hire more Native veterans

BISMARCK –  The Department of the Interior has launched a program to recruit and hire more Native American veterans to work for the agency.

The Indian Affairs American Indian and Alaska Native Veterans Initiative who hire veterans  “throughout Indian Country and continue their service to our nation,”  Interior Department assistant secretary for Indian affairs Kevin Washburn said in a news release Saturday.

Washburn was in Bismarck for a summit of government officials and Native American veterans to discuss support for Indian veterans.

Other participants included U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, White House Senior Policy Advisor for Native American Affairs Jodi Gillette, Indian Health Service Acting Director Dr. Yvette Roubideaux, and Fargo Veterans Affairs Medical Center Director Lavonne Liversage, according to a news release from the office of Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., which organized the meeting.

The meeting was about “bringing together our Native veterans, leaders in the community, and veterans officials – and engage in an open dialogue about the very real challenges that exist and what we can do to correct them,” Heitkamp said in the news release.

Attendees learned about housing programs, ongoing health care initiatives, and other benefits available to veterans.

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