A University of Montana student is among a select group of students to earn the Udall Native American Congressional Internship this summer in Washington, D.C. Lillian Alvernaz and 11 other American Indian and Alaska Native college, graduate and law students, will be placed in U.S. Senate, U.S. House and federal agency offices to learn firsthand how the U.S. government works with Native nations.

Alvernaz, a traditional Assiniboine/Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate from northeast Montana, is pursuing her master’s degree in public administration, a certificate in American Indian law, as well as a Juris Doctor degree from the Alexander Blewett III School of Law at UM. She graduated with honors from UM in 2013 in Native American studies and social work and hopes to combat violence against Native women and children.

The Udall Foundation placed Alvernaz with the U.S. Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women, Tribal Division, for her summer internship.

“The internship provides wonderful opportunities to work and collaborate with people involved in her field at a national level, which will then help her serve her clients better and lead in the legal protection of Native women and children,” said Laure Pengelly Drake, UM director of external scholarships and advising.

With access to a network of American Indian professionals and alumni who work on behalf of tribal nations, interns will gain a better understanding of the government-to-government relationship and how they can use this knowledge to benefit their tribes. The program, which runs June 1-Aug. 6, provides Alvernaz and the other Udall interns housing, a living allowance, transportation to and from Washington, D.C., and an educational stipend of $1,200.

For more information on the internship, call Pengelly Drake at 406-243-6140, email laure.pengellydrake@umontana.edu or visit http://udall.gov/OurPrograms/Internship/AboutInternship.aspx.