University of Minnesota Twin Cities junior awarded National Udall Scholarship

Christopher Smith

University of Minnesota Twin Cities junior Christopher Smith is one of 55 scholars recognized by the Morris and Stewart Udall Foundation in 2019.

Udall Scholarships are awarded to students who demonstrate academic excellence, integrity, leadership and commitment to public service-related conservation of the environment or Native American affairs. Smith, a member of the Red Lake Band of Ojibwe and an American Indian Studies major, is one of ten students recognized particularly for their work in tribal policy.

A graduate of Bemidji High School, where he was captain of the mock trial and Model United Nations teams, Smith plans to complete a law degree and work on behalf of Indian Nations within the state and federal court systems. For the last two years, Smith has been a clerk with the Red Lake Nation Tribal Court, where he has contributed to research and established a Healing to Wellness Court as an effective alternative to the criminal court system. By emphasizing rehabilitation, the Healing to Wellness Court will assist in productively resolving offenses that disrupt the social wellbeing of the community. He has  also worked to catalog and transfer the tribal archives at Red Lake. On the Twin Cities campus, Smith has continued to be involved in mock trial and has worked as a clerk with University Student Legal Services.

Smith is the eighth student from the Twin Cities campus to be named a Udall Scholar and the second in the tribal policy category. Five students from the University of Minnesota Morris have previously received the award. Scholars receive up to $7,000 toward their undergraduate academic expenses and an expenses-paid professional development workshop in Tucson, Ariz.

University of Minnesota students working toward the public good with respect to environmental challenges or Native students dedicated to careers in tribal policy or healthcare in Native communities should contact the Office of National and International Scholarships about applying for a Udall Scholarship at 612-624-5522 or




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