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Native American Vets Gather For Conference In SD

January 9, 2012, 11:30 AM

FLANDREAU, SD - Suicide rates and post-traumatic stress disorder are just two of the issues that will be addressed at a three-day conference starting Tuesday in South Dakota that is bringing together tribal officials and representatives from veterans' organizations.

About 60 veterans and tribal officials from South Dakota's nine tribes are expected to gather in Flandreau to learn about the best practices to help returning Native American veterans.

Conference coordinator Dennis Quigley says many American Indian veterans fall victim to alcoholism and post-traumatic stress disorder, but many psychologists don't fully grasp Native American culture and the role it plays in recovery.

Quigley says the conference is also a chance to show appreciation for American Indian veterans who have served. A wacipi, or powwow, is scheduled for Wednesday to honor the veterans.

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