Strengthening Native American communities and enhancing tribal governance are important goals for the
Udall Foundation. Our ten-week 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
The Foundation arranges placement with a Congressional office, committee or federal agency in Washington D.C.
We make every effort to place interns in offices where they will have the opportunity to broaden their
knowledge of the laws and policies that affect tribal communities. Depending on their office placement,
interns will help draft legislation; research congressional acts and proposed legislation; attend hearings
and briefings; and write memos, white papers, constituent letters and talking points for the
Congressman or Senator.
Interns have opportunities to research issues affecting individual tribes, the federal trust
responsibility, tribal sovereignty, or a topic that has broad implications for tribal public policy. Examples of previous
research topics include the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988 and its effect on federal recognition of tribes, a history of
tribal economic development legislation, analyses of proposed legislation such as the Native American Sacred Lands Act, the
Indian Healthcare Improvement Act, Endangered Species Act, and policy issues such as Cobell v. Norton. Interns present
their research to their peers and invited guests.