Udall Foundation honors students tackling tribal, environmental issues

Joe Boland, John Crawford, and Abey Philip.
Joe Boland, John Crawford, and Abey Philip.

The Udall Foundation has recognized three Yale undergraduates for their commitment to careers in tribal public policy, the environment, or Native health care, as well as their leadership potential and academic accomplishments.

Sophomore Joe Boland has been named a 2021 Udall Scholar in the tribal public policy category; junior Abey Philip has been recognized with a Udall Scholar honorable mention in the environmental category; and junior John Crawford has been selected as a 2021 Native American Congressional Intern.

Boland, a citizen of the Cherokee Nation (Absentee Shawnee), is one of 55 students from 42 colleges and universities selected as a Udall Scholar. The scholars were chosen from 416 applicants nominated by their institutions across the United States. A history major, Boland serves as vice president of the Sophomore Class Council and is one of two senators from Ezra Stiles College on the Yale College Council. Last summer, he interned at the Department of Justice’s Office of Tribal Justice as well as at the Aspen Institute’s Center for Native American Youth, where he produced reports concerning efficient hazardous waste management in Native Alaskan communities, analyzed legislation relating to Indian Country, and sought to better understand key cases within federal Indian law.

Philip was among 55 U.S. students awarded a Udall Scholar honorable mention in the environmental category. He is interested in finding new and innovative ways to center the voices of marginalized communities in environmental policy decisions. At Yale, Philip spearheaded the creation of the $100,000 Student Green Innovation Fund, which supports student-submitted sustainability projects. This summer, he will be working for the Natural Resources Defense Council as an environmental justice intern, advocating for low-income and communities of color in southern California.

Crawford, a member of the Forest County Potawatomi Community, is one of five students, representing five Tribes and five universities around the country, to serve as 2021 Native American Congressional interns. The award is given by the Udall Foundation and the Native Nations Institute at the University of Arizona. The 2021 summer program will be a virtual nine-week experience due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Interns will work virtually in congressional and federal agency offices, where they have opportunities to research legislative issues important to tribal communities, experience an insider’s view of the federal government, and enhance their understanding of nation building and tribal self-governance. Crawford is the first member of the Forest Potawatomi Community to be selected as a Udall intern. He is majoring in history and global affairs at Yale, where he is treasurer of the Association of Native Americans. He is interested in furthering indigenous self-government and economic sovereignty.

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