September 22, 2016
Today, the House Committee on Natural Resources held a markup on five bills including H.R. 2387 (Rep. Don Young), the "Alaska Native Veterans Land Allotment Equity Act." The bill, which passed by voice vote, provides equitable treatment of Alaska Native Vietnam Veterans under the Native Allotment Act of 1906, allowing veterans to be eligible for land benefits from the federal government.
While serving in the Vietnam War, Alaska Native Veterans were unable to apply for land allotments promised by the federal government. When they returned home, only those who served from 1969–1971 were allowed to apply. H.R. 2387 expands their military service dates to coincide with the entire conflict, which officially lasted from 1964-1975.
“This piece of legislation will bring justice and parity for Alaska Natives who honorably served our nation in the Vietnam War,” Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT) said. “I am pleased to see this important bill advance. I thank Congressman Young for his effort in allowing our servicemen and women an equal opportunity to obtain what is rightfully theirs.”
“It’s absolutely wrong to punish these Alaska Native veterans, who proudly served their country during time of conflict, by denying them their allotment. Congress must once and for all rectify this inequity and fulfill its promise to these Native veterans. I look forward to the day that this matter is closed,” Subcommittee Chairman Young (R-AK) said.
Rep. Young’s bill also increases available land for selection by Alaska Native Veterans and reduces restrictions related to allotment and occupancy requirements while serving overseas.
Click here to learn more about H.R. 2387.
to view letters of support for H.R. 2387.