Udall Foundation Recognizes 2020 Native American Congressional Internships

05/06/20 07:00:am

The Morris K. Udall & Stewart L. Udall Foundation and the Native Nations Institute for Leadership, Management, and Policy at the University of Arizona (NNI) are pleased to announce the selection of the 2020 Native American Congressional Interns. The program’s newest class of Udall Interns comprises 12 students representing 12 Tribes and nine universities from around the country. The Udall Interns were selected by an independent review committee on the basis of academic achievement, leadership, and demonstrated commitment to careers in Tribal public policy.

The Udall Foundation’s Native American Congressional Internship Program, funded and co-managed by NNI, provides Native American and Alaska Native undergraduate, graduate, and law students with the opportunity to gain practical experience with the Federal legislative process in order to understand firsthand the government-to-government relationship between Tribes and the Federal Government. Udall Interns are placed in Senate, House, and Federal agency offices in Washington, D.C., for an intensive nine-week summer program. Additional professional development and enrichment activities are hosted throughout the internship program and provide opportunities for the Udall Interns to meet and network with key decision makers.

From 1996 through 2019, 278 Native American and Alaska Native students from 124 Tribes have participated in the Native American Congressional Internship program. However, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Udall Foundation and NNI have made the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 Udall Internship program. As a result, all of the 2020 Udall Interns have been offered spots in the 2021 program.

“While we are obviously disappointed by the need to cancel the Udall Internship this summer, it’s important that we take the time to recognize the 2020 Udall Interns for their achievements and to celebrate their impressive work in, and commitment to, Indian Country. We welcome them to our growing community of program alumni and look forward to engaging all of our 2020 Udall Interns in the program next summer.”
-Dr. David Brown, Udall Foundation Executive Director

In the interim, staff from the Udall Foundation and NNI are working together to provide the 2020 Udall Interns with online professional development and networking opportunities to keep the class connected and supported. “The Native Nations Institute extends its congratulations to the 2020 Udall Interns. We look forward to the opportunity to work and engage with the Udall Interns, albeit virtually, as they expand their knowledge about Indigenous governance and how that intersects with Federal policy,” said Joan Timeche (Hopi), NNI Executive Director.

Introducing the 2020 Udall Interns:

The Udall Internship honors the legacies of Morris K. Udall and Stewart L. Udall, whose careers had a significant impact on Native American self-governance and health care, as well as the stewardship of public lands and natural resources.

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