Making American history, Pueblo woman Rep. Deb Haaland will become the first Native American Cabinet secretary, leading the Department of the Interior.
Nominated on December 17 by President-elect Joe Biden, Haaland is yet to be confirmed by the Senate.
Once confirmed, the member for Laguna Pueblo in New Mexico will be the first Native American Cabinet secretary and oversee the agency responsible for managing nation’s public lands and honour treaties with Indigenous peoples.
The Biden-Harris transition team, who made the announcement regarding Haaland’s nomination, described her as a barrier-breaking public servant in a statement.
“Haaland is a barrier-breaking public servant who has spent her career fighting for families, including in Tribal Nations, rural communities, and communities of colour,” they wrote.
“Currently serving as Vice Chair of the House Committee on Natural Resources, Haaland will be ready on day one to protect our environment and fight for a clean energy future. If confirmed, she will make history as the first-ever Native American Cabinet secretary”
Haaland took to twitter recognised her nomination.
“A voice like mine has never been a Cabinet secretary or at the head of the Department of Interior,” she wrote.
“Growing up in my mother’s Pueblo household made me fierce. I’ll be fierce for all of us, our planet, and all of our protected land.
“I am honored and ready to serve.”
A voice like mine has never been a Cabinet secretary or at the head of the Department of Interior.
Growing up in my mother’s Pueblo household made me fierce. I’ll be fierce for all of us, our planet, and all of our protected land.
I am honored and ready to serve.
— Deb Haaland (@DebHaalandNM) December 18, 2020
Haaland is no stranger to being first. In 2018 both Haaland and Rep. Sharice Davids of Kansas were the first Native women in congress.
Davids congratulated Haaland via twitter.
“On Deb Haaland and my first day in Washington, Joe Biden greeted us with open arms. Today, he nominated Deb as our next Secretary of Interior. Here’s to making history again, friend,” she wrote.
Here’s to making history again, friend. 💙 pic.twitter.com/ECLKeXIMWS
— Sharice Davids (@sharicedavids) December 17, 2020
Within her role as head of Department of Interior, Haaland will oversee the federal government’s responsibility to the nation’s 574 Indian tribes and Alaska Native villages.
The Department manages national parks, wildlife refuges and public lands, protects biologically and culturally important sites and drives natural resource development.
By Rachael Knowles