NCAI Responds to Haaland Opposition, Urging Her 'Immediate Confirmation' as Interior Secretary
February 12, 2021
On Wednesday, the National Congress of American Indians convened an emergency meeting resulting in its public urging for the immediate confirmation of Congresswoman Deb Haaland to Secretary of the Department of the Interior, amid a growing chorus of pushback from Republican senators.
"The U.S. Department of the Interior carries out a broad range of responsibilities, including the management of public lands, water resources, minerals, wildlife management, and cultural heritage preservation," the draft letter addressed to Senate Leadership reads. "Additionally, it is charged and entrusted with upholding the federal trust and treaty responsibilities to the 574 tribal nations and more than 5.2 million American Indians and Alaska Natives. As a result of these unique fiduciary and trust obligation to tribal nations, it is time that the ranks of Interior's leaders finally include a voice from the community whose day-to-day lives it impacts most."
Haaland, a Congresswoman from New Mexico and a citizen of Laguna Pueblo, was nominated by President Joe Biden to head the Interior Department in December. If confirmed by the Senate, she will make history as the first Native American cabinet member.