Stacia Martin-Hernandez (2009/10 Hatfield Fellow) and Kurt Schrader

Statement of Purpose:

The Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde Community of Oregon established the Mark O. Hatfield Fellowship in 1997 as a tribute to Senator Hatfield for his accomplishments as Governor of Oregon, United States Senator, and for his support to the Grand Ronde Tribe, Native Americans, Oregonians and all Americans. 

The Hatfield Fellowship ensures that Mark Hatfield's legacy of integrity, strength, and effectiveness in public service will endure. Each year, the fellowship opportunity will enable a Native American to serve as a member of the staff of one of Oregon's congressional delegation. The Hatfield Fellow will serve as a liaison between the congressional member and Oregon tribes on issues that affect Native Americans and as a resource for the entire Oregon congressional delegation. In addition, the Hatfield Fellowship program seeds Indian Country with capable, motivated individuals who know their way around Washington, D.C., to produce long-term benefits for all Tribes in the Pacific Northwest.

Fellowship Details:

The Hatfield Fellow rotates between the House and Senate members of the Oregon delegation. 

The Grand Ronde Tribe, through the Spirit Mountain Community Fund (SMCF), provides funding for the Hatfield Fellowship. Each Hatfield Fellow serves a nine month period from November through July and receives a stipend (taxable wages) of approximately $76,500 for a nine-month period and moving expenses ($4,000). The Hatfield Fellow will also be allowed travel expenses for one district visit (up to $3,500), travel expenses for the Canada Trip with APSA (up to $2,000) and the APSA Orientation fee ($5,300), not to exceed a total of $92,300.  All dependents accompanying the Fellow will do so at their own expense. The Hatfield Fellow is responsible for locating housing for the duration of their stay in Washington, D.C.  

 (Please review the discussion in the Frequently Asked Questions section of this packet which provides more details concerning the funding of this Fellowship.)

Each year, the SMCF selection committee will choose a Native American who is at least 21 years of age, to serve as the Hatfield Fellow. Preference will be given to qualified enrolled members of the nine federally recognized Oregon tribes.

The Hatfield Fellow will serve as an advisor to his or her member on Native American issues and as a resource on Native American issues for the entire Oregon Congressional delegation.

During the congressional fellowship, the Hatfield Fellow is expected to make one district visit to Oregon. The visit will include briefing tribal representatives on political activity in Washington, D.C., report their experiences and work in Washington, D.C., and work with the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde Community of Oregon to recruit candidates for the following year’s Fellowship.  A travel stipend will be provided not to exceed $3,500. All travel must be coordinated with the appropriate SMCF staff.

Each Hatfield Fellow is required to participate in a one-month orientation program that is provided by the American Political Science Association (APSA) at the start of the fellowship. 

Note: All travel (including district visits and the Canada trip) is subject to change based on current COVID-19 restrictions.

Fellowship Activities:

Fellows will routinely provide a myriad of support functions to the assigned congressional office and attend hearings and debates. Fellows will research, prepare briefs and write speeches that will be presented to Congress and other constituents by the Congressman/Congresswoman or by other appropriate congressional staff. 

Tentative Calendar & Procedures:

April 4, 2022 - Applications Open.  

June 15, 2022 - Application Deadline - Applicants interested in being considered for this year's Hatfield Fellowship must have their application received by SMCF staff on or before this date to be accepted.  

July 15, 2022 - Finalist Selection - Applicants are notified of next applicant phase and an interview date and time will be arranged for selected finalists. 

July 2022 - Finalist Interviews - The selection panel convenes for interviews. Finalists are responsible for all expenses associated with the regional interviews, including travel to and from Portland, Oregon. (Additional information will be provided to you if you are selected as a finalist.)

July/August 2022 - Selection Notification - The applicant selected will be notified by phone and confirmed by email. All other applicants will receive a phone call or email informing them of their status. The selected applicant is required to complete a brief security form and undergo a background investigation before proceeding with the selection process.

August/September 2022 - Fellow’s Follow-up Activities:

  • The Hatfield Fellow is expected to contact the congressional office they are assigned to work in and finalize work hours for the nine-months in Washington, D.C., as well as arrange a visit to the local office prior to their departure to Washington, D.C.
  • The Hatfield Fellow will be required to sit for a professional photograph. This activity will be coordinated by SMCF staff.  
  • The Hatfield Fellow will arrange for housing in the Washington, D.C., area.
  • The Hatfield Fellow is to be in contact with representatives of the Spirit Mountain Community Fund concerning moving costs and travel arrangements to Washington, D.C.
  • The Fellow will participate in a meeting/orientation with CTGR state lobbyist prior to travel to Washington, D.C. 
  • The Fellow will participate in a meet and greet with Tribal Council and the outgoing Hatfield Fellow prior to departing for Washington D.C.
  • The Fellow will participate in interviews for press release and other related media. 

November 1, 2022 - APSA Orientation - Hatfield Fellow will participate in the month-long orientation in the American Political Science Association Congressional Fellowship Program during the month of November. When not participating in this training, you will work for the office assigned to you.  There will be a lot of time built into the APSA training for Fellows to interview with potential office placements.  Because the Hatfield Fellow already has an assigned office placement, the Fellow will use this time working instead.

December 1, 2022 - Office Placement Begins.

December 2022 through July 2023 – Fellowship Activities: 

  • Monthly Reports - The Fellow will provide a monthly report detailing his/her experiences in the fellowship program to the SMCF Program Coordinator.
  • Fellow will participate in ongoing activities with APSA.
  • Fellow will participate in one district visit to Oregon.  

July 31, 2023 - Final Day of Fellowship.

How to Apply

Application Details

The Grand Ronde Tribe is proud to invest in the development of tomorrow’s Native American leaders through the Hatfield Fellowship.

If you are interested in applying for the 2022/2023 Hatfield Fellowship, please submit your application materials via email to  by 5pm on June 15, 2022.

Applicants are required to submit an application, detailed resume, personal statement, three letters of reference and a CDIB. 

Qualifications & Application Details Hatfield Fellowship FAQs

Samuel Riding In


Riding In Set for Eight-Month Term in Senator Merkley’s D.C. Office


The Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde and the Spirit Mountain Community Fund are pleased to announce Samuel Riding In as the 2021/22 Hatfield Fellow. Riding In grew up in Apache, Oklahoma and is a member of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde.

Riding In is a graduate of Haskell Indian Nations University in Kansas where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Indigenous & American Indian Studies. He holds a certification in behavioral health and most recently worked as a case worker/ behavioral health technician at Lutheran Indian Ministries, a nonprofit organization in Kansas. He is passionate about mental health issues, Indian education and economic development for tribal communities.  

The Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde established the Mark O. Hatfield Fellowship in 1998 as a living tribute to Senator Hatfield to honor his accomplishments as the Governor of Oregon and United States Senator. Each year, the Spirit Mountain Community Fund sponsors a highly motivated Native American to serve as the Hatfield Fellow and intern in an Oregon congressional office, enhancing the mutual understanding between leadership in Washington, D.C., and Indian Country.

Riding In is the 22nd Native American to serve as a Hatfield Fellow. He will begin his fellowship in November with a month-long orientation at the American Political Science Association (APSA) in Washington, D.C. Following orientation, he will assume his congressional placement in Senator Jeff Merkley’s office. This is the Senator’s second time to host a Hatfield Fellow.

 “I really look forward to the opportunity to be a part of the American political system, gaining first-hand experience from our leaders in Washington, and using my educational background in ways I had previously never foreseen for myself,” said Riding In. “I look forward to the opportunity to network with other fellows and staff members. Ultimately, I hope to be a part of something that is bigger than myself, with lasting positive impacts for a multitude of people who live and breathe on this land. I want to learn as much as I can throughout the course of the fellowship and I want to be a useful member of Senator Merkley’s team.”

“Senator Hatfield not only played an enormous role in making Oregon what it is today, but did so with unwavering principle and a distinctive, gracious diplomacy that helped to inspire so many Oregonians—including myself—to devote their lives to public service,” said Senator Merkley. “One of the many ways the Oregon delegation works together to honor his many accomplishments is by continuing to build a strong partnership with tribal communities through the Hatfield Fellowship program. I always look forward to hosting Hatfield Fellows, and am especially excited to welcome Sam Riding In to team Merkley, where he will bring an impressive background and an admirable passion for helping others. Especially at a time when tribal communities are facing unique challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is more critical than ever for Congress and Tribal Governments to work together, and I look forward to seeing the important work Sam accomplishes on Capitol Hill this year.”

 “I wanted to serve as the Hatfield Fellow because historically, Native people have been left out of many conversations and legislation that ultimately affects our livelihoods as sovereign nations. Our people have overcome immense obstacles in order to keep our culture and sovereignty as distinct Tribal Nations intact, and I believe it is imperative we create a sustainable future for the survival of our political autonomy,” said Riding In. “My professional goal is to ensure our next generation of people are equipped with the knowledge to succeed and carry on our culture.”