From the pre-Revolutionary War conflicts to present-day missions around the world, American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians have and continue to play a vital role in the United States Armed Forces, serving at a higher rate in proportion to their population than any other ethnic group.
Through the Department of Defense (DoD) American Indian and Alaska Native instructions and policies, the Department is committed to respecting the sovereignty of Indian nations, the rights of self-determination and self-governance, government-to-government relations, and fulfilling federal trust responsibilities. Similar principles also extend to Native Hawaiians through DoD policies on consultation with Native Hawaiians. DoD personnel, native communities, and the general public can find these policies and many other tools and resources here to assist with our common missions.
The Senior Advisor and Liaison for Native American Affairs (SALNAA) works within the Office of the Secretary of Defense and reports to the Deputy Assistant Secretary (Environment and Energy Resilience).The SALNAA advises the Department on matters concerning DoD interactions with federally recognized tribes and acts as a liaison between the Department and native communities. Specific duties include administering the Native American Lands Environmental Mitigation Program (NALEMP), facilitating cultural communications and consultation training courses for military and DoD civilian personnel across the nation, and conducting Native American outreach activities on behalf of the Office of the Secretary of Defense.
News and Events of Interest
- 2021 DoD Plan of Action on Tribal Consultation
In response to the Presidential Memorandum of January 26, 2021, Tribal Consultation and Strengthening Nation-to-Nation Relationships, this document outlines the Department's commitment to improving implementation of the Executive Order 13175, Consultation and Coordination With Indian Tribal Governments.
After 77 years in an unmarked grave, George Fox, the only known Aleut/Unangax soldier killed in action during WWII, is approved by the VA to receive an official gravestone. (Source: https://www.ktoo.org/2021/06/01/after-77-years-buried-in-unmarked-grave-unangax%CC%82-wwii-soldier-will-receive-grave-marker/)