Posted by Michelle Miano.
In a year defined by hardship, there is cause for celebration. This month, president-elect Joe Biden nominated Rep. Deb Haaland (D-NM), one of two Native American women currently serving in the U.S. House of Representatives, to the position of Secretary of Interior. Once confirmed, Rep. Haaland, an enrolled member of the Pueblo of Laguna, will not only be the first Native American to hold that position, but will also be the first Native American in the history of the country to serve in a presidential Cabinet-level position.
As Rep. Haaland stated:
A voice like mine has never been a Cabinet secretary or at the head of the Department of Interior. 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. I am honored and ready to serve.
Secretary of Interior designate Haaland will oversee the 70,000-person U.S. Department of Interior, which includes the Bureau of Indian of Affairs, the Bureau of Indian Education, the Bureau of Land Management, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, the Bureau of Reclamation, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, the Bureau of Trust Funds Administration, the National Park Service, the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Geological Survey, and a number of other offices, including the Office of the Solicitor.
We all look forward to the leadership that Secretary of Interior designate Haaland will bring to the Department of Interior. BKSW has decades of experience working with the Department, including land into trust matters, rights-of-way, land leases, Indian water rights and natural resource issues, and representing clients before the Department’s administrative agencies. We appreciate how important good Department leadership is. Congratulations to Secretary of Interior designate Haaland for this historic and well-deserved nomination!
Photo courtesy of debforcongress.com
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