Givens picked as 16th Hatfield Fellow

Coeur d’Alene Tribal member Maria Givens has been selected as the 16th Hatfield Fellow by Spirit Mountain Community Fund for 2015-16.

Givens is currently employed as a legislative assistant/youth outreach coordinator for the National Indian Health Board in Washington, D.C.

Each year, the Community Fund sponsors a congressional fellowship with a member of the Oregon delegation to enhance the mutual understanding between leadership in Washington, D.C., and Indian Country.

Past fellows have served in a number of Senate and House congressional offices, including those of Ron Wyden, Gordon Smith, Kurt Schrader, Darlene Hooley, Earl Blumenauer, Greg Walden and Peter DeFazio.

Givens will begin her Hatfield Fellowship in November with a month-long orientation with the American Political Science Association in Washington, D.C. Following her orientation, she will be placed in the office of Sen. Jeff Merkley, D.-Ore.

Givens completed her bachelor’s degree in 2013 from the University of Washington with a double major in Political Science and American Indian Studies. She was involved in Washington state’s Denny Heck for Congress campaign, where she was field organizer for central Pierce County.

For generations, Givens’ family has been involved in her Tribe’s leadership. Her mother, Jeanne Givens, was the first Native woman elected to the Idaho Legislature.

Givens is a former winner of the Ethnic Cultural Center’s Director’s Award for her accomplishments while attending the University of Washington. Her community service includes volunteer work at the Chief Seattle Club, a center for homeless Native people, and her work as a former Udall congressional intern.

The Hatfield Fellowship was created in 1998 to honor Sen. Mark Hatfield’s public service to Oregon and the Pacific Northwest.

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