Native American Congressional Internship

Apply - Information for References

Interns are selected primarily on the basis of their interest in learning about the Federal government, their interest in Tribal public policy or Tribal governance, and their desire to support Tribal communities. Successful applicants will demonstrate strong research and writing skills, high academic achievement, maturity and responsibility, leadership potential, and the ability to work well with others.

Letters of recommendation must be emailed to the Program Manager by 11:59 pm PST on January 24, 2024.

In your recommendation letter

  • Address the applicant's values, interests, goals, and/or ambitions that demonstrate interest in Federal Indian policy and commitment to Tribal communities and/or Indian country;
  • Discuss the candidate's intelligence, academic performance, analytical, research and writing abilities, and other relevant characteristics;
  • Give examples of the applicant's leadership, community involvement and participation in Native American or Alaska Native cultural events, Tribal community activities, or Tribal government;
  • Describe a significant contribution that the applicant has made to his or her Tribal community, or to Indian country; and
  • Address the candidate's personal characteristics (confidence, maturity, poise, motivation and so forth) that you feel would contribute to the applicant's success as an Intern.

A strong recommendation letter will

  • Help the selection committee understand in what capacity and context you know the applicant: e.g., as their Tribal leader or community member, research supervisor, through volunteer activities, professional experience, and for what length of time. Whenever possible, indicate that you know the applicant personally. Summarizing activities listed on the resume or reviewing the transcript is not particularly helpful to our readers.
  • Provide concrete evidence of the applicant's leadership and service activities. The more specific the examples, the better. The most effective letters use narrative technique to highlight the applicant in action as an innovator, activist, volunteer, researcher, or teaching assistant, and convey the applicant's enthusiasm and dedication.
  • Convey to readers the scope of responsibility the applicant assumed; readers look for evidence of results. What impact did the applicant's actions have?
  • Address the Internship Program criteria specifically. Readers look for sustained participation in Tribal activities; assumption of leadership roles; evidence of initiative, maturity, and responsibility; strong writing and research skills; and coursework or research that complements their activities and career goals.