Pedro Molina Becomes First Assistant Secretary for Native American Veterans Affairs

Last week, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger swore in Pedro Molina as Assistant Secretary for Native American Veterans Affairs, the first such appointment in the nation.

The swearing in ceremony was attended by nearly 200 people, mostly Native Americans from California, according to a press release issued by the California Department of Veterans Affairs.

Molina, Yaqui, served in the U.S. Army from 1970 to 1973. Before his appointment, he served the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs as American Indian program manager and marketing and community relations representative since 1998.

One Comment

  1. Yahola (Sonny) Simms II says:

    Mr. Molina: After the recent passing of one of our Warrior’s an honored Code Talker a couple of months ago I was very disturbed there was no V.A representation. Especially a Native American Indian VA represenative. The family of the now deceased, being Navajo maintained their own Traditions and spiritual values during his last days yet I was honored when I received the call to come as a Native American Indian Marine Veteran to sit with him and hear his death prayers. The Loma Linda Indian Program is very misrepresented though they mean well. The Loma Linda VA Medical Center Multicultural Program under the EEO does very little to promote Native American Indian awarenesses and outreach. Even In the Vet Center Readjustment counseling services there is no recruitment nor serious outreach to Native Veterans in San Bernardino County where I work as a Clinical Therapist working with Veterans of all ethnicities. The Native American cultural levels of training is even lackluster and misrepresented once again in annual training meetings as I have experienced for the last three years and as of late. My concerns are when Native people are appointed positions in California Government and CalVet services they become out of touch and tend to evolve into representatives that are more concerned with high profile events rather than impassioned caretakers of the provisions and support systems for ourNative American Veterans in California in the nooks and crannies of urban and rural California. We really do have a great need to be provided here in California and the need for photo op and once in awhile politically motivated event hood ornaments of a few Native American spokespersons that are not that Effective and productive to the realities of California Native American Indian Veterans is needed less. Linguistically culturally traditionally and spiritually we are still under represented and disregarded regardless of the positions or the titles given to a few Native people that are out of touch with Native Veteran issues problems and concerns. Provided all this said; when is real Native American Veteran Leadership going to come to the Native Circles of California?

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