Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Native women land key leadership and policy roles in Biden administration


February 8, 2021

Ann Marie Bledsoe Downes. Photo courtesy Ho-Chunk, Inc.

A citizen of the Winnebago Tribe is taking on a key leadership position in President Joe Biden's administration.

Ann Marie Bledsoe Downes will serve as Deputy Solicitor for Indian Affairs at the U.S. Department of the Interior. In that role, she will lead the Indian Country legal team for the federal agency with the most trust and treaty responsibilities to tribes and their citizens.

In recognition of the department's importance, Biden has nominated Rep. Deb Haaland (D-New Mexico) to serve as Secretary of the Interior. If confirmed, the Pueblo of Laguna citizen will be the first Native person to lead Interior and the first Native person in a modern-day presidential cabinet.


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