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Summer in Washington, D.C., means the arrival of the Udall Foundation Native American Congressional Interns. The ten 2017 interns represent eight Native nations: Chickasaw Nation, Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians of Montana, Muscogee (Creek) Nation, Tohono O'odham Nation of Arizona, Navajo Nation, Tunica-Biloxi Indian Tribe of Louisiana, Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation of Oregon, and Oneida Tribe of Indians of Wisconsin. Honoring the legacies of Morris K. Udall and Stewart L. Udall, the Native American Congressional Internship places students in the U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, and various executive branch agencies to gain real world experience and an understanding of the government-to-government relationship that exists between the federal government and Native nations. NNI Senior Researcher and Outreach Specialist Danielle Hiraldo is in Washington, D.C., this summer managing the ten-week program.
On June 5, 2017, Hiraldo and NNI Executive Director Joan Timeche delivered a one-day Native nation building educational session. The session, which has become an established part of the internship curriculum, introduces NNI and Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development research findings on the importance of tribal governance to Native nations' success. The goal is for the interns to apply the lessons in their own communities and in their future professional positions, further strengthening Indigenous governance.