In 2018, Deb Haaland, alongside Sharice Davids, became the first Native American woman to serve in Congress. A longtime advocate for the environment in her home state of New Mexico, Haaland is now slated to become the first Native American Interior Secretary.
If confirmed, Haaland, a member of the Laguna Pueblo tribe, will help confront a legacy of injustices towards indigenous peoples in America. Her role will include overseeing the government’s relationship with the 567 federally recognized tribes and 1.9 million American Indians and Alaska Natives.
Haaland’s appointment was pushed forward by a letter penned by over 100 tribal leaders urging her consideration for the position. Haaland’s appointment is historic in terms of diversity in federal leadership, but it also puts a voice representing Indigenous concerns at the highest reach of government. We look forward to seeing Indigenous Americans better represented with this appointment.
In an interview with HuffPost, Haaland said, “I think it’s a time in our world―not just in our country, but our entire world―to listen to Indigenous people when it comes to climate change, when it comes to our environment.”
Image Source: PBS