Native American Congressional Internship

Meet our Interns - Alumni Spotlights - Sarah Butrum Crawford

As a Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate tribal member, I grew up on the Lake Traverse Indian Reservation in South Dakota. Growing up on the reservation, I was always surrounded by my culture. Our family vacations during the summers involved following the powwow trail, setting up camp, and dancing in the powwow arena until midnight. I knew that my future career goals would incorporate Native American issues at some level.

When I entered college, I set out for a degree in psychology with a minor in business management. I was deeply involved in a number of student organizations that focused on Native American issues, politics, and positive social change. Not until the end of my undergraduate career did I fully comprehend that in order to create long-lasting change, I needed to understand the policies and laws at a tribal, local, state, and federal level. I shifted gears, and decided to add a minor in political science.

After completing my undergraduate degree in 2011, I was accepted into the Udall Native American Congressional Internship. I was placed with my home state representative, Senator Tim Johnson. After having a great learning experience with the Udall Internship program, I was offered a permanent position with the Senator’s office working on Native American issues. I could not turn down the opportunity! I have continued to work in the office on Native American legislation and policy to address issues including education, health, and economic development. Working on Capitol Hill has been an exciting experience, and I will always be thankful to the Udall Internship Program for giving me the first opportunity to work on Native policy. I am looking forward to furthering my education and returning to the Midwest to continue a career in addressing Native American policy issues.