Biden taps Deb Haaland to be first Native American interior secretary

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If confirmed, Haaland would be the first Native American to serve as a cabinet secretary.
President-elect Joe Biden has chosen New Mexico Congresswoman Deb Haaland to head the Interior Department, which would make her the first Native American to lead the agency that oversees the country's natural resources and public and tribal lands if she is confirmed by the Senate.

Tribal leaders and organizers had pushed Mr. Biden to choose Haaland, a member of Pueblo of Laguna, a tribe that has lived on the land that is now New Mexico for eight centuries. The Interior Department has long had a contentious relationship with the 574 federally recognized tribes, and Haaland's nomination indicates that the Biden administration is willing to listen and address the concerns of indigenous people.

If confirmed as interior secretary, Haaland will be contending with policies from the Trump administration that have complicated the federal government's relationship with tribes, like removing protections from tribal sites at Bears Ears…
Nancy Cordes
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