BIA Launches New Summer Internship Program for Native Students

Acting Assistant Secretary Roberts Announces Launch of the Indian Affairs
2016 Student Leadership Summer Institute for Native Students

Summer Institute builds on President’s Generation Indigenous commitment to remove barriers to opportunities for success for Indian Country’s future leaders

WASHINGTON – As part of President Obama’s Generation Indigenous (“Gen-I”) initiative to remove barriers to success for Native Youth,Acting Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Lawrence S. Roberts today announced the launch of the 2016 Indian Affairs Student Leadership Summer Institute, a paid 10-week summer internship program with the agency that begins in early June.  The Institute will provide American Indian and Alaska Native post-secondary students with a unique opportunity to learn about federal policymaking and develop management and leadership skills within high-profile offices throughout the Indian Affairs organization.  Roberts made the announcement at the National Congress of American Indians’ “Tribal Nations Legislative Summit 114th Congress Executive Council” meeting.

“Indian Affairs is excited to offer the Indian Affairs Student Leadership Summer Institute, which will provide opportunities for Native students to gain experience and leadership skills to help serve Indian Country,” Acting Assistant Secretary Roberts said.  “Under the President’s Gen-I initiative we are privileged to provide learning opportunities for the next generation of Native leaders, and believe that this program is a chance to help our young people gain valuable experience that will serve them well throughout the rest of their careers.”

The Indian Affairs Student Leadership Summer Institute’s mission is to engage and support the next generation of Native students interested in rising to leadership levels within federal government.  The program will provide participants with:

  • An introduction to the government-to-government relationship between the United States and the 567 federally recognized tribal nations;
  • An understanding of how the federal government carries out its trust responsibilities to tribal and individual Indian trust beneficiaries;
  • How the tribal consultation process guides the development and implementation of federal Indian policies and regulations;
  • Real-world exposure to the Indian Affairs organization and its component bureaus, offices and programs that carry out its part of the Secretary of the Interior’s overall responsibilities to Indian Country.

The Institute is open to American Indian and Alaska Native students currently enrolled in undergraduate or graduate degree programs.  Between 15-to-20 students will be selected to work at either Indian Affairs’ headquarters offices in Washington, D.C., or at the Bureau of Indian Affairs’ (BIA) 12 regional offices.  Internships will begin in early June and end mid- August.

Application and Eligibility Requirements

I. To be eligible for the 2016 Indian Affairs Student Leadership Summer Institute, an applicant must:

  • Be a member of a federally recognized tribe.
  • Be currently enrolled and in good standing in an undergraduate or graduate degree program.
  • Be at least 18 years of age.
  • Have completed at least two years of an undergraduate degree program.

II. Applications must include the following requirements:

  • Personal Statement (700-word limit)The statement should discuss the applicant’s interest in the Indian Affairs Student Leadership Summer Institute and how it fits into his or her future goals of serving Indian Country.  It should also describe the applicant’s personal qualities or previous leadership experiences that will enhance the experience of other American Indian and Alaska Native program participants and an area of her or his education, experience in a certain field of policy, cultural background/familiarity (close ties to region) or any other information that would help determine the applicant’s proper placement or secure a placement preference within a specific Indian Affairs office.
  • ResumeA one-page resume is preferred, but must be no more than two pages in length.  It must list the following: education, honors and awards, work experience (including other internships), school activities (e.g., clubs, research, presentations), and/or any community activities (e.g., volunteer activities, leadership roles).
  • Indian Preference Verification Form BIA-4432Because preference in filling vacancies within Indian Affairs offices is given to qualified Indian candidates in accordance with the Indian Preference Act of 1934 (Title 25, USC, Section 472), an applicant must include Verification Form BIA-4432 with their application package prior to the closing date of the announcement, but only if claiming Indian Preference on the application.  Applicants selected under Indian Preference will be appointed under Excepted Service, Schedule A 213.3112 (a) (7) appointing authority.  For the form, go to http://www.bia.gov/cs/groups/xbie/documents/text/idc015515.pdf.
  • TranscriptsA full set of unofficial transcripts must be submitted at the time of application.  They will be used to evaluate the level for which an applicant qualifies, which then will determine the grade level and salary offered.

While applications will begin to be accepted on Monday, February 29, 2016, through the federal employment opportunities website www.USAJobs.gov, they are due by 11:59 p.m. EST on Friday, March 11, 2016.  Questions about the Indian Affairs Student Leadership Summer Institute program, eligibility, how to apply, and application requirements may be sent to IA_Institute@bia.gov.

Indian Affairs’ responsibility to the federally recognized American Indian and Alaska Native tribes is rooted in Article I, Section 8 of the United States Constitution and subsequently defined in treaties, acts of Congress, executive orders and actions, federal court decisions, and federal policies and regulations.

The Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs supports the Secretary of the Interior in carrying out the Department’s responsibilities to the federally recognized tribes through BIA and BIE programs and services.  The BIA’s mission includes developing and protecting Indian trust lands and natural and energy resources; supporting social welfare, public safety and justice in tribal communities; and promoting tribal self-determination and self-governance.  For more information, visit www.indianaffairs.gov.

The BIE implements federal Indian education programs and funds 183 elementary and secondary day and boarding schools (of which two-thirds are tribally operated) located on 64 reservations in 23 states and peripheral dormitories serving over 40,000 students. BIE also operates two post-secondary schools, and administers grants for 28 tribally controlled colleges and universities and two tribal technical colleges, and provides higher education scholarships to Native youth.  For more information, visit www.bie.edu.

About Sarah M Donnelly

Program Coordinator for the Indigenous Law and Policy Center at Michigan State University College of Law.
This entry was posted in Announcements, Author: Sarah Donnelly, Education, Scholarship and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to BIA Launches New Summer Internship Program for Native Students

  1. Pingback: Did You Miss the February 23 Social Justice Tuesday on Overcoming Implicit Bias? Attended but Would Love Access to Resources and Slides? – Common Good

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