16 March 2021 - Deb Haaland confirmed as first Indigenous US cabinet secretary
Deb Haaland Confirmed As 1st Native American Interior Secretary
Nathan Rott (NPR, 15/03/2021)
Deb Haaland, a member of New Mexico's Laguna Pueblo, has become the first Native American Cabinet secretary in U.S. history.
The Senate voted 51-40 Monday to confirm the Democratic congresswoman to lead the Interior Department, an agency that will play a crucial role in the Biden administration's ambitious efforts to combat climate change and conserve nature.
Her confirmation is as symbolic as it is historic. For much of its history, the Interior Department was used as a tool of oppression against America's Indigenous peoples. In addition to managing the country's public lands, endangered species and natural resources, the department is also responsible for the government-to-government relations between the U.S. and Native American tribes.
Haaland confirmed by Senate as first Native American to lead Interior
Darryl Fears (The Washington Post, 16/03/2021)
As thousands of Native Americans watched online, Rep. Deb Haaland (D-N.M.) was confirmed as secretary of the Interior Department by a 51-to-40 vote in the Senate, making her the first American Indian to lead an agency that manages a vast portfolio of federal land and the oil and mineral wealth that lies beneath it.
Haaland, a member of the Laguna Pueblo Nation in New Mexico and whose family ties in the country can be traced back 35 generations, will take control of a department that also oversees Indian Country, 574 federally recognized Native American and Alaska Native communities.
On Deb Haaland, Native American history and renewed hope
Laura Tohe (Deseret News, 15/03/2021)
Most Americans are probably familiar with Crazy Horse, Geronimo and Disney’s distorted version of Pocahontas. They may have heard of gold medalists Jim Thorpe and Billy Mills for their athletic footprints and the Navajo Code Talkers, who devised a military code based on the Navajo language to help defeat the Japanese during World War II. Beyond that, the remaining slate of nationally known Native Americans remains sparse, stereotyped and invisible. And almost entirely male.
That’s changing with Deb Haaland, having made history as one of the first Native American women elected to the House of Representatives in 2018. President Joe Biden’s appointment of her as United States secretary of the interior heralds a tremendous opportunity — a new page for Native Americans, Alaska Natives and Native island communities. It represents hope for undoing destructive policies of the previous presidential administrations. But most of all, it represents renewed hope for the land and for the Indigenous nations of this country.
‘Indian Country’ is excited about the first Native American secretary of the interior – and the promise she has for addressing issues of importance to all Americans
Traci Morris (The Conversation, 16/02/2021)
President Biden’s nomination of U.S. Rep. Deb Haaland of New Mexico to lead the Department of the Interior is historic on many levels. Haaland, an enrolled member of the Pueblo of Laguna, was one of the first Native American women elected to Congress, along with U.S. Rep. Sharice Davids of Kansas. And if confirmed, she will be the first Native American to head the agency that administers the nation’s trust responsibility to American Indians and Alaska Natives.
Indian Country has a significant history with the Interior Department that has more often been bad than good. But Haaland’s record shows that she is committed to making progress on larger challenges that affect all Americans. She has been especially vocal on climate, environmental protection, public lands and natural resource management.