Udall Foundation honors students who tackle tribal and environmental issues

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

Sophomore Joe Boland was named 2021 Udall Fellow in the Tribal Public Policy category; junior Abey Philip received an honorable mention from Udall Scholar in the environmental category; and junior John Crawford was selected as the 2021 Congress of the Native American intern.

Boland, a citizen of the Cherokee Nation (Absentee Shawnee), is one of 55 students from 42 colleges and universities selected as a Udall Fellow. The scholars were chosen from 416 nominees nominated by their institutions across the United States. With a degree in history, Boland is vice chairman of the Sophomore Class Council and is one of two senators from Ezra Stiles College to Yale College Council. Last summer, he interned at the Department of Justice’s Office of Tribal Justice and the Aspen Institute’s Native American Youth Center, where he produced reports on the effective management of hazardous waste in Native communities of Alaska, analyzed the laws pertaining to the Indian country and sought to gain a better understanding of key cases of federal Indian law.

Philip was one of 55 American students who received an honorable mention Udall Scholar 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 led the creation of the $ 100,000 Green Innovation Fund for Students, which supports sustainable development projects submitted by students. This summer, he will work for the Natural Resources Defense Council as an environmental justice intern, advocating for low-income and black communities in Southern California.

Crawford, a member of the Forest County Potawatomi community, is one of five students, representing five tribes and five universities nationwide, to serve as Native American Congress interns in 2021. The award is presented by the Udall Foundation and the Native Nations Institute from the University of Arizona. The 2021 summer program will be a nine-week virtual experience due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Interns will work virtually in the offices of Congressional and Federal agencies, where they will have the opportunity to research legislative issues of importance to tribal communities, discover an insider’s perspective on the federal government, and improve 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 majored in history and world affairs at Yale, where he is treasurer of the Association of Native Americans. He is interested in the promotion of Aboriginal self-government and economic sovereignty.