Deb Haaland Makes History as First Native American Cabinet Secretary

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WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 24: Rep. Deb Haaland (D-NM), nominee for Secretary of the Interior, testifies at her confirmation hearing before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee February 24, 2021 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.  ((Photo by Sarah Silbiger-Pool/Getty Images))

Deb Haaland was confirmed as Secretary of the Interior for the Biden administration Monday, making her the first Native American cabinet secretary in U.S. history. Haaland, a member of the Laguna Pueblo and a 35th-generation resident of New Mexico, will oversee the management of federal land and natural resources, as well as the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Under President Trump, the Department of the Interior rolled back a number of environmental protections and ceded vast amounts of land to commercial exploitation. President Biden has already reversed or paused a number of Trump’s policies and Haaland, who has voiced opposition to fossil fuel drilling and pipelines in the past, says she’ll be “fierce for all of us, our planet, and all of our protected land” in her new role.  We’ll talk about Haaland’s historic confirmation, its cultural significance and the agenda in front of her.


Gregory Cajete, professor of Native American Studies and Language, Literacy and Sociocultural Studies, University of New Mexico.

Joel Clement, senior fellow, Arctic Initiative, Harvard Kennedy School's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs - former executive at the U.S. Department of the Interior

Dina Gilio-Whitaker , author, "As Long as Grass Grows: The Indigenous Fight for Environmental Justice, from Colonization to Standing Rock"; journalist, Indian Country Today Media Network and associate scholar at the Center for World Indigenous Studies.