NAPLP Program


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Update on NAPLP and INSPIRE Programs

Dear Friends:

Our Summer 2021 Native American Political Leadership Program (NAPLP) cohort has concluded and I want to thank Dr. Elizabeth Rule, Mackenzie Neal, our wonderful students, and of course AT&T, plus many of you for making it a success. 

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The Native American Political Leadership Program (NAPLP) at The George Washington University aims to elevate the next generation of Indigenous leaders. Through generous funding from AT&T, the program provides full academic scholarships to American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian students and recent graduates for a semester-long experience in the nation’s capital. NAPLP Scholars study public policy, federal-tribal relations, and political processes while completing a full-time internship uniquely tailored to their interests and career goals. NAPLP cohorts also attend weekly site visits and events to explore different career paths and expand their personal and professional networks.

Due to the continued uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, the Native American Political Leadership Program transitioned to a fully virtual format in Spring 2021 and Summer 2021. NAPLP Scholars completed their full-time courses,  internships,  and site visits remotely. 

Applications are not currently being accepted for 2022. 



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Program at a Glance


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Study Applied Politics

NAPLP is a full scholarship program for American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian graduate and undergraduate students to study applied politics. 


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Semester Long

The semester-long program is offered through George Washington University, located in Washington, D.C. 


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Internship Opportunities

Students also have internship opportunities in places such as a congressional office, national tribal organization or a federal agency.


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New Knowledge 

NAPLP students gain fresh perspectives, knowledge and skills about the political process and community organizing. They feel better prepared for leadership roles in their communities, nationally or globally.

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Deadline: February 10, 2021

Summer 2021 Virtual Program Dates:
June 1 - July 24, 2021

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Who is eligible for NAPLP?

NAPLP is open to undergraduate and graduate students, including those who have completed their undergraduate degree but have not yet enrolled in a graduate program. 

What Does a Typical Day Look Like?

Students take two core courses and may take an elective course and live in on-campus housing on GW’s Foggy Bottom Campus.  Students also have the opportunity to have an internship in places such as a congressional office, national tribal organization or a federal agency and to develop lasting connections with a cohort of Native American students from across the country. Students have extensive opportunities to interact with decision-makers in national policy and with leaders of Native American advocacy organizations.  

In Spring 2021 and Summer 2021, the NAPLP Program is fully virtual. Students will attend live virtual classes and participate in weekly video calls in lieu of in-person site visits. 

What Courses Do NAPLP Students Take?

NAPLP students are required to enroll in two core courses, both of which can be taken for undergraduate or graduate credit. Students may also earn an additional 3 credit hours through their internships. 

Core Courses

  • PMGT 4101: Electoral & Legislative Processes
    “Elections and Congress” is intended as an introduction to the United States Congress. It will explore several themes including how Congress has evolved over time, both in its internal institutional organization as well as in its relationship to the other branches of the federal government; how individual members of Congress operate within this changing institutional landscape; and the “macro-trends” concerning polarization that have emerged over the past several decades.
  • PMGT 4192: Tutorial in American Politics and Elections
    “Nation to Nation: Native Politics from Courtrooms to Communities” provides an overview of the historic and current intergovernmental relationships between Indigenous people and the United States government and explores how federal Indian policy is formed.  Students work in small groups to develop strategic plans for organizing around key issues that affect Native American communities.
Full Scholarship for Native Students

NAPLP funding was made possible from generous contributions from AT&T and grants from the AT&T Foundation.

  • NAPLP scholarships are awarded to students based on academic ability, leadership potential, and an interest in politics.
  • Students from all tribes and from every part of the United States are welcome to apply.
  • There is no application fee for applying to NAPLP.

What does the NAPLP scholarship cover?

  • Tuition and fees for two core classes (up to 6 credits hours total)
  • Housing in a GW dormitory
  • A stipend for books and living expenses, paid in two installments
  • Airfare to and from Washington, DC (one round-trip ticket)

In Spring 2021 and Summer 2021, the NAPLP program is fully virtual and will not be providing campus housing or travel stipends. 

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All NAPLP Scholars complete an internship in Washington, D.C. Our team works with each scholar to identify opportunities that match their personal and professional goals and interests. For 15 years, NAPLP has partnered with Congress, federal agencies, tribal organizations, and the private sector to place students in meaningful internships related to tribal policy and politics.

Past Internship Sites



Scholars work with faculty members who have first-hand knowledge and industry experience in applied politics, tribal affairs, law, public health, environmental justice, and beyond.

Courses also feature regular guest speakers from across Washington, D.C. who share their experiences with students while discussing current events and other relevant topics.

Faculty Bios 


Milanovich Fellowship

NAPLP applicants can also apply for the distinguished Richard M. Milanovich Fellowship. If selected, Fellows will attend a special week-long seminar consisting of briefings with key policy makers, issue advocates, and community leaders in Washington, D.C. The fellowship honors the late Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indian Tribal Chairman Richard M. Milanovich.

Learn More

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Current Students & Alumni

NAPLP Summer 2018 students in Washington, D.C.

The Native American Political Leadership Program runs twice a year in the spring and summer semesters. Our NAPLP Scholars are accomplished, inquisitive students who seek to maximize their internship experiences and networking opportunities while in the nation's capital. After completing the program, our NAPLP alumni use their newfound perspectives and work experience to become highly engaged community advocates, political leaders, public health professionals, advisors, professors, and more.    

Student Profiles