Yesterday, Congresswoman Deb Haaland (and Mama!) from New Mexico was nominated as Secretary of the Interior by President-elect Biden – making her the first Native American to hold the position. We have just three words to sum up our feelings about Rep. Haaland and this nomination: ABOUT. D*MN. TIME.
The Department of the Interior conducts affairs across both tribal lands and public lands. With Rep. Haaland’s leadership and heritage as an Indigenous woman, she will be extremely well suited to forge a new, productive, supportive relationship between the US Government and Tribal Nations. It is inexcusable that for generations the Department of the Interior was helmed by mainly white men (with only two women, ever) without the long, historical connection to our national and tribal lands. We applaud the incoming Biden administration for not only appointing a highly competent and experienced woman to this role – but also for finally representing Indigenous leadership at one of the highest levels of our federal government.
Rep. Haaland – we are so very excited to work with you.
As a member of the Natural Resource Committee and Public Lands subcommittee, Rep. Haaland has been a fervent public lands champion – having been at the forefront of crafting solutions to the climate crisis through America’s public lands. With the COVID pandemic only elevating our nation’s reliance on our public lands for emotional and physical health, Rep. Haaland is the leader Mountain Mamas need to advocate for and protect our cherished public lands and waters.
From soulful wilderness to our neighborhood soccer fields – public lands are core to how we raise our families in the mountain west. We fiercely protect our children’s right to a healthy climate and public lands. Recent rollbacks of environmental protections have made our air and water vulnerable to increased pollution, and attacks on our shared public lands such as Bear’s Ears and our national monuments threaten their very existence. We are confident Rep. Haaland will stand up for conservation and recreation as they drive our economies, support our communities, and provide us safe, equitable space for ALL.
We urge the Senate to quickly approve this nomination – as we have no time to lose. As Rep. Haaland recently stated, “Growing up in my mother’s Pueblo household made me fierce. I’ll be fierce for all of us, our planet, and all of our protected land.” We have needed a fierce leader for our public lands and waters. Now, we finally have her.