February 26, 2021 – Native Americans in New Mexico and across the country are hopeful Deb Haaland will become the first Native American Cabinet secretary. The two-term New Mexican congresswoman was nominated by President Biden in December to lead the Interior Department. The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources held two days of confirmation hearings this week.
Haaland, who’s Laguna and Jemez Pueblo, made history in 2018 becoming one of two Native American women elected to Congress (Sharice Davids of Kansas was elected at the same time). Representing New Mexico’s 1st Congressional District, she’s tried to fashion a bipartisan approach, something she repeatedly championed in front of the Senate committee. Haaland has been a strong advocate for Indigenous and environmental issues, two areas under her purview if she’s confirmed. A number of Republicans oppose Haaland’s appointment, citing concerns for the future of the oil and gas industry.
This week, correspondent Antonia Gonzales gets reaction and insight from a group of Native women about what this historic moment means to Indian Country.
Correspondent: Antonia Gonzales
Kiera Toya, National UNITY Council co-president, Jemez Pueblo
Shayai Lucero, floral designer/STEM expert, Acoma/Laguna Pueblo
Holly Cook Macarro, Spirit Rock Consulting, Red Lake Nation
For More Information:
Indian Country Gripped by Haaland Nomination – Associated Press (KRQE-TV)