Native American Congressional Internships

Native American Congressional Internships

Native American Congressional Internships

The Native American Congressional Internship Program provides Native Americans and Alaska Natives with an insider’s view of the federal government. The ten-week internship in Washington, D.C., places students in Senate and House offices, committees, Cabinet departments and the White House, where they are able to observe government decision-making processes first-hand.

In 2008, the Foundation expects to award 12 Internships on the basis of merit to Native Americans and Alaska Natives who:

  • -Are college juniors or seniors, recent graduates from tribal or four-year colleges, or graduate or law students;
  • -Have demonstrated an interest in fields related to tribal public policy, such as tribal governance, tribal law, Native American education, Native American health, Native American justice, natural resource protection, and Native American economic development.

Guidance for Applicants

The Internship program provides Udall Interns with:

  • -Hands-on practical experience in congressional and agency office placements;
  • -Enhanced understanding of tribal self-governance and nation-building efforts;
  • -Opportunities to research legislative issues important to tribal communities;
  • -Exposure to resources available in Washington, DC, for legislative research and tribal policy development;
  • -Opportunities to network with key public officials, agency officials, and national tribal advocacy organizations.

If you are interested in applying for a Udall Internship:

  • -Read through the 2008 Application Materials to familiarize yourself with the eligibility criteria and internship conditions;
  • -Browse the FAQ and Guidance to Applicants sections of the website;
  • -Submit all application materials by the January 31, 2008 deadline;
  • -Contact the Foundation if you have questions concerning your application.

Who Should Apply?

Udall Interns have pursued a variety of majors and fields of study, among them, American Indian Studies, Political Science, Law or Pre-law, Psychology, Social Work, History, Business or Public Administration, Anthropology, Community and Urban Planning, Architecture, Communications, Health Sciences, Public Health, Biology, Engineering, Sociology, Environmental Studies or Natural Resources, Economics, and Justice Studies.

Regardless of field of study, a successful applicant will demonstrate:

  • -Strong research and writing skills;
  • -Organizational abilities and time management skills;
  • -Maturity and responsibility;
  • -Interest in learning how the federal government “really works;”
  • -Commitment to his or her tribal community;
  • -Knowledge of Congressman Udall’s legacy with regard to Native Americans;
  • -Awareness of issues and challenges currently facing Indian Country.


The Udall Internship gave me more than I ever imagined. I met Native American professionals who are using their education and experience on Capitol Hill to work diligently for Indian Country. Most importantly, I learned about myself... —Salisha Old Bull

Each applicant must:

  • -Fall under the Foundation’s definition of Native American or Alaska Native*;
  • -Be a junior or senior in college, a recent graduate from a tribal or four-year college, or a graduate or law student;
  • -Have a college grade-point average of at least a “B” or the equivalent;
  • -Be a U.S. citizen or U.S. permanent resident.

For the purposes of the Internship Program, a Native American or Alaska Native is any individual who is:

1. A member of an Indian tribe or band, as membership is defined by the tribe or band, including any tribe or band terminated since 1940 and any tribe recognized by the state in which the tribe or band resides; 2. A descendant in first or second degree of a member of an Indian tribe or band, as membership is defined by the tribe or band, who can demonstrate affiliation with the tribal community according to criteria set by the Foundation; 3. Considered by the Secretary of the Interior to be an Indian for any purpose; 4. An Eskimo, Aleut, or other Alaska Native; 5. A permanent U.S. resident who is a member of the First Nations of Canada.

Applicants must submit copies of relevant enrollment forms or descent documentation. Applicants who are members of the First Nations of Canada must submit proof of U.S. permanent residency.

For their list of FAQs, see their website at:

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