For the first time in the history of the United States, a Native American has been nominated as the Secretary of the Interior. Deb Haaland, a congresswoman from New Mexico, is also a member of the Pueblo tribe. She currently serves on the House Natural Resources Committee, which oversees the Department of the Interior.
“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,” Haaland tweeted after the nomination was made public. ““Deb being in the Interior would be removing that invisible cloak that they have put on us all these centuries and making more and more people aware we are here and who we are,” activist OJ Semens, member of the Rosebud Sioux tribe, told USA Today.
This nomination is seen as an indication of Biden’s commitment to the environment. Under Trump, many environmental and climate protections were rolled back or entirely discarded.