Congressman Rick Nolan

Representing the 8th District of Minnesota
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Rep. Nolan Announces “Native American Emerging Leaders” Internship Program

Jun 18, 2014
Press Release

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan announced today a new internship program specifically for Native American students in Minnesota’s Eighth District.

The “Native American Emerging Leaders” program is designed to prepare Native American students to become community leaders and policymakers by exposing them to the processes by which national policies are developed and implemented on Capitol Hill and in the federal government.

Syngen Kanassatega (photo below), from the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe, is the first student selected to participate. Syngen is currently a law student at the University of New Mexico, and, throughout the summer, he will assist Congressman Nolan’s legislative staff in Washington, D.C., with legal research, with a particular focus on tribal policy issues.

Syngen Kanassatega, our first Native American Tribal Leaders intern, at his desk in Washington, D.C.


“As the Representative of five of the six bands of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, it’s essential to me that our Native American students are aware of the resources they have at their disposal to influence our public policymaking,” said Nolan.

Nolan added, “It is my hope that with this program, Emerging Leaders graduates return to their communities better informed about how government works, and better prepared to become leaders, skilled analysts, and informed advocates.

“My ultimate goal is to better represent the issues of Indian Country in Congress.”

In addition to the Mille Lacs Band, Rep. Nolan represents the Fond du Lac, Leech Lake, Grand Portage, and Bois Forte Bands; students from each of these tribes will have the opportunity to be selected for the internship.

The Emerging Leaders internship comes with a small monthly stipend to help with the costs of living in D.C. Native American students interested in this program should contact their tribal leader for a recommendation.