President-elect Joe Biden elected Representative Deb Haaland, the first member of Congress from the state of New Mexico, as Secretary of the Interior. If the Senate approves his candidacy, Haaland will be the first Native American to head the Department of the Interior and the first member of the presidential cabinet. In addition to the Office of Indian Affairs, she will oversee agencies such as the Bureau of Land Management and the National Park Service.
A statement from the National Wildlife Federation states that Haaland’s choice for this position “is a clear sign that the new government is deeply committed to addressing the challenges of wildlife and America’s climate crises, and to real interaction with Native American tribes and communities.”Biden says he has commissioned a cabinet that looks like America.”
the 60-year-old Haaland is the daughter of two military veterans. Her mother, a native American, served in the U.S. Navy. Her father, an American of Norwegian descent, was a marine and received the Silver Star for his courageous service in the Vietnam War. Haaland is a registered member of Laguna Pueblo. She describes herself as a new Mexican in the 35th generation.
In 1994, at the age of 34, Haaland graduated from the University of New Mexico and gave birth to a daughter just four days later. A single mother, she has started her own salsa production company and says that she has sometimes relied on food vouchers and the generosity of her housing friends. In 2006, she received her Ph. D. in Law from the School of Law of the University of New Mexico and continued to serve as a tribal administrator in San Felipe Pueblo.
Haaland began his political career as a volunteer and worked to increase voter participation in Native American communities. She volunteered for Obama’s campaign in 2012 and then ran unsuccessfully for vice governor in 2014. In 2015, she became the leader of the Democratic Party of New Mexico.
In 2016, Haaland joined the protests against the Dakota access Pipeline in the Sioux Reserve. There she cooked green chili and tortillas from the trunk of her car to feed the protesters. “There must be no penalties for protests, that is our constitutional right,” she said at the time.
Haaland was elected to represent the first district of New Mexico, which includes Albuquerque and its surrounding areas, in 2018. She and Sheris Davids of Kansas were elected in the same year, making them the first Native Americans in Congress. Haaland is vice Chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee and chairman of the Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands.
“Congressman Haaland knows this area,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a statement, endorsing Haaland’s candidacy.
Haaland stands in stark contrast to the current Interior Minister David Bernhardt. Not only did the president-elect promise Biden to end all new oil and gas drilling on public land and waters, but also support Rechte First Amendment rights is a welcome change from DOI, which law enforcement departments directed its forcible expulsion антирасистских Protesters in Washington, DC this summer. Haaland herself also enjoys outdoor recreation; she only completed the Marines Marathon last year.
But it is the change that promises to make the affairs of Native Americans the most promising. The tenure of President Trump, supported by Secretaries Ryan Zinke and Bernhardt, was associated with a historic attack on the rights and heritage of Native Americans. In addition to access access pipeline in Dakota Administration Trump proposed on the protection of sacred tribal objects in the Utah Bear Ears National Monument, opened National wildlife Refuge in Alaska for oil drilling (threatening food sources for the Kutchin-language people) and DO DOI, so that Хааланд claimed that they are in favor of suppressing the voice of tribes. The government’s mismanagement of the COVID-19 pandemic has also disproportionately affected indigenous communities.
Senator Martin Heinrich, a Democrat from New Mexico, said in an email statement that Haaland’s nomination would help him “sleep better at night.”He also said,” I am sure that the Congressman Хааланд will be the best scientific achievements for restoring our landscapes, opening up new opportunities for outdoor activities for everyone, forcing our government to work the Earth in the fight against the climate crisis and helping Indian country recover and recover after the pandemic COVID-19. I want to support her claim so that she can start working to protect our natural heritage for future generations.”