Native Americans have long had a contentious relationship with the Interior Department. Now, one of their own is at the helm of it: Deb Haaland, an enrolled member of the Pueblo of Laguna.
It was only in 2018 that the New Mexico Democrat made history as one of the first two Native American women elected to Congress. She’s now the first Native American to head a Cabinet department.
Carla Fredericks, executive director of The Christensen Fund, expert on Indigenous people’s rights and a Native American herself, discusses the significance of Haaland’s stewardship of a department that holds vast sway over land use, energy and Native American issues.
- Haaland: ‘I thought I would have more time here, but we are called to service in different ways’
- Haaland confirmed as first Native Interior secretary
- Opposition to Haaland may bring political costs, tribal representatives warn
- GOP critics unlikely to let up on Haaland after confirmation
- Why pro-drilling Don Young came to back Haaland for Interior