News Release: Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Roberts Announces Applications Now Being Accepted for Indian Affairs Student Leadership Summer Institute 2017

WASHINGTON – Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Lawrence S. Roberts announced today that applications to the Indian Affairs Student Leadership Summer Institute, a 10-week paid internship for post-secondary Native students now in its second year, are being accepted for 2017.  The deadline for applications is November 30, 2016.

The Indian Affairs Student Leadership Summer Institute program provides American Indian and Alaska Native post-secondary students with a unique opportunity to learn about federal policy and develop management and leadership skills within high-profile offices throughout Indian Affairs.  The program’s mission is to engage and support the next generation of Native leaders in the federal government through an introduction to the government-to-government relationship between tribal nations and the United States.  Through their experiences students will gain an understanding of how Indian Affairs carries out its trust responsibilities and how consultation with tribes guides policy development and implementation.

The Institute’s inaugural class consisted of 17 Native undergraduate and graduate students placed in the 12 Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) regional offices and at the Bureau of Indian Education (BIE), the Office of the Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs, and the White House Council on Native American Affairs where they worked on a variety of projects that dealt with, among other topics, environmental and natural resources, land management, social work, the Tiwahe initiative, and the 2016 White House Tribal Nations Conference.  They also traveled to Rapid City, S.D., to attend a Tribal-Interior Budget Council (TIBC) meeting, and around the city of Washington where they visited the Departments of the Interior and Justice, as well as the White House, U.S. Capitol and the Supreme Court.

American Indian and Alaska Native students currently enrolled in either undergraduate or graduate degree programs are encouraged to apply.  Between 15 and 20 students will be selected to work in the Indian Affairs headquarters offices in Washington, D.C., and in BIA regional offices around the country.

Applicants must meet the following criteria to apply for the program:

  • 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, and
  • Have completed at least two years of an undergraduate degree.

The application requirements are as follows:

1) 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.

2) Resume:

The resume should be no more than two (2) pages in length.  Please include a list of education, honors and awards, work experience (including internships), school activities (clubs, research, presentations, etc.) or any community activities (volunteer activities, leadership roles).

3) Verification Form BIA 4432:

Because 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.  Click here to access the form.

4) Transcripts:

A full set of unofficial transcripts from all institutions attended are required.  They will be used to evaluate the level for which an applicant qualifies which will, in turn, determine the grade level and salary offered.

5) Assessment Questionnaire:

Applicants will be required to submit an online assessment questionnaire.  Click here for a preview of what questions will be asked.

Applications are due no later than Wednesday, November 30, 2016, and should be submitted through via  Send questions about the application to .

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