Udall Foundation Native American Congressional Internships


Please consult the program website to confirm details, including applicable deadlines.

Program Purpose: 
Strengthening Native American communities and enhancing tribal self-determination and self-governance are important goals for the Udall Foundation. Its summer internship, funded by the Native Nations Institute for Leadership, Management, and Policy, provides 12 Native American or Alaska Native students with the opportunity to gain real-world experience in policy-making. Interns participate in the daily workings of the federal government and the legislative process, and learn about ways in which the government fulfills its trust responsibilities with tribal nations.
Program Description: 
The Udall Foundation sponsors this 10-week summer internship program in Washington, D.C., for Native American and Alaska Native students who wish to learn more about the federal government and issues affecting Indian Country. Interns are placed with a Congressional office, committee or federal agency in Washington D.C. where they have opportunities to research legislative issues important to tribal communities, network with key public officials and tribal advocacy groups, experience an insider's view of the federal government, and enhance their understanding of nation-building and tribal self-governance. At the end of the program, interns report on an issue affecting individual tribes, the federal trust responsibility, tribal sovereignty, or an issue with broad implications for tribal public policy.
Program Benefits: 
The internship is fully funded: the Foundation provides round-trip airfare, housing, a per diem for food, public transportation, and incidentals, and a $1,200 stipend at the close of the program.
Application Process: 
Required documentation includes a copy of tribal enrollment card or other tribal verification, or a prroof of permanent residency (for First Nations of Canada).
Applicant Profile: 
Successful applicants will have a demonstrated commitment to their tribal community and a demonstrated interest in fields related to tribal public policy and the challenges currently facing Indian Country, such as: tribal governance, tribal law, Native American education, Native American health, Native American justice, natural resource protection, cultural preservation and revitalization, and Native American economic development. Competitive candidates will also demonstrate a knowledge of Congressman Udall's legacy with regard to Native Americans, an interest in learning how the federal government "really works," and strong organizational, time management, and research and writing skills.
Juniors or seniors, recent graduates from four-year colleges, and graduate and law students. Applicant must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident and a Native American or Alaska Native who meets at least one of the following criteria: (1) 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) 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) Eskimo, Aleut, or other Alaska Native; (5) Permanent U.S. resident who is a member of the First Nations of Canada.
Selection Criteria: 
There is no preference given to the applicant's field of study. Udall Interns have pursued a variety of majors, including: American Indian studies, political science, law, pre-law, psychology, social work, history, business and 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.
Program Deadline: 
Usually in January.
How To Apply: 
Students or alumni, as applicable, may apply directly to this program. Applicants are encouraged, however, to work with SF State's fellowship advisor well in advance of the program deadline to perfect their application essays and other materials.