Are you looking for a summer internship and practical
Passionate about social justice and issues affecting the
Native American community?
The Lakota People’s Law Project is looking to hire Native American students,
or students with academic or other experience in Native American affairs to
work in their main office in Rapid City for the summer.
Interns would undertake historic, oral and statistical research on the removal of Native American children from
their homes and communities in South Dakota. Interns would also have opportunities to do field research in
Lakota reservation communities.
Community Organizing Intern:
Passionate about social justice organizing? Work with Native American activists to raise awareness and
support in the Lakota and non-Lakota community about the issue of Indian child welfare. Help organize a
conference, create public education materials, hold community meetings, and help empower families in the
What is the Lakota People’s Law Project?
The Lakota People’s Law Project is a non-profit law office addressing human rights abuses held in common by
the Lakota, Dakota and Nakota people. Our effort combines litigation with social justice organizing. Currently
the Lakota People’s Law Project is preparing to file an unprecedented class action law suit against the SD
Department of Social Services for 30 years of lack of compliance with the Indian Child Welfare Act and for the
egregious civil rights abuses within the foster care system.
What is the Indian Child Welfare Act?
The Indian Child Welfare Act, was passed in 1978 after centuries of state sponsored removal of thousands of
Native American children from their homes in order to “civilize,”convert them, or to save them from poverty.
Generations of removals greatly contributing to the desecration of Native American culture, sovereignty, and
tore the very fabric of the Native American community, the family. The Indian Child Welfare Act tried to halt
this practice by mandating that children who are removed by social services must be placed with a relative, a
member of their tribe, or another Native family. Unfortunately, the law lacked mechanisms for
implementation, and has been and continues to be grossly ignored by the state of South Dakota. As a result,
currently, while Native American children make up approximately 13% of the minor population of South
Dakota, they represent over 55% of children in foster care. In addition, the rate of removal of Native American
children in South Dakota is 16 times higher than that of their non-Native peers.
Major or concentration in a social science or humanities field.
Excellent written, oral, research, organizational and interpersonal skills.
GPA of 3.0 or higher.
Application deadline and procedure:
Applicants should submit their applications to Claire Newman at firstname.lastname@example.org by June 1, though
interested students are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. Applications simply consist of a resume, writing
sample, three references including former employers, and your transcript. Your transcript can be sent to Lakota
People’s Law Project, attn: Claire Newman, 117 Knollwood Dr., Rapid City, S.D., 57701.
This is an unpaid internship.
Housing will be provided.
(Check out the Shackel Internship Endowment Fund for possible financial assistance – Applications due
5/1/08. Contact Sue Bovbjerg, x4446, or check the Career Center website for more information.)
For more information please call Claire Newman at 605-381-8668.