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Posted: 12/20/2008

Contact Libby Washburn at 520.901.8506 or for additional information

The Morris K. Udall Foundation has entered into another partnership with First Alaskans Institute to increase Alaska Native participation in the Udall Foundation's Native American Congressional Internship Program.

Under the partnership, First Alaskans Institute will help recruit and contribute funding for an Alaska Native to participate in the 10-week summer internship in Washington, D.C. First Alaskans Institute is a non-profit organization whose mission is to advance and develop the capacities of Alaska Native people and communities to meet the social, economic and educational challenges of the future through community engagement, information and research, collaboration, and leadership development. The goal of the internship is to give Native Americans and Alaska Natives an insider's view of the federal government and to learn about the federal trust responsibility with tribes.

"The partnership with First Alaskans Institute is a wonderful opportunity to involve more Alaska Natives in our internship program," said Ellen Wheeler, executive director of the Udall Foundation. "We are excited to work with such a well-established program, which already places young Alaska Native leaders in internships in Alaska."

In the summer of 2008, Andrea Sanders, Yupik originally from Quinhagak in the Calista Corporation region, successfully completed the Morris K. Udall Foundation Native American Congressional Internship in Washington, D.C. She received her B.A. in government from Georgetown University. Sanders was one of 12 students from 11 tribes and 11 colleges and universities. Since its inception in 1996, 149 Native American/Alaska Native students from 98 tribes have participated in the program.

Sanders completed the intensive, 10-week internship in Washington, D.C., this summer, working full-time for the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, where she observed the federal legislative process first-hand. Special enrichment activities provided her with opportunities to meet with key decision-makers in Washington, D.C. Regarding the internship, Sanders stated, "I have lived in Washington, D.C., for over four years and never have I felt more welcome or at home in this city as I did these last 10 weeks. I have met many wonderful Native leaders and advocates who made this experience not only memorable, but life changing."

In addition to placing interns in Congressional offices and committees, Cabinet departments and the White House, the Udall Foundation provides interns with lodging, a daily allowance for meals and incidentals, airfare to and from Washington, D.C., and a $1,200 educational stipend upon completion of the program.

The deadline to apply for the 2009 Native American Congressional Internships in Washington, D.C., is January 30, 2009. For a complete listing of the 2008 Udall Interns or to obtain more information on the Morris K. Udall Foundation, please visit our website at or contact Program Manager, Colin Ben at (520) 901-8568 or by email at

The Morris K. Udall Foundation is an independent federal agency based in Tucson, Arizona, and overseen by a board of trustees appointed by the President of the United States. The Udall Foundation was established in 1992 by Congress to honor the late Morris K. Udall's 30 years of service in the House of Representatives. Congressman Udall championed the rights of Native Americans and Alaska Natives, using his leadership in Congress to strengthen tribal self-governance and national environmental policy. The Udall Foundation operates scholarship, fellowship and internship programs for studies related to the environment and Native American issues, as well as the U.S. Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution, which provides mediation and related services to assist in resolving environmental disputes all over the United States.

For more information regarding the Native American Congressional Internship Program, please visit the Udall Foundation website at For information regarding First Alaskans Institute, please visit the website at

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