I have been following Rep. Deb Haaland since she won her spot in 2018 as one of the two Native American women elected to Congress (the first two in history). Now she is in confirmation hearings to become the Secretary of the Interior. It’s incredibly moving to think that an indigenous person would hold this power.

From https://www.thenation.com/article/politics/deb-haaland-confirmation/: “Deb Haaland, a Laguna Pueblo tribal citizen and President Joe Biden’s pick to lead the Interior Department, is on the brink of history. If confirmed by the Senate, she would be the first Native American cabinet secretary. Interior manages one-fifth of the nation’s land and vast supplies of natural resources, all taken from Native people, as well as the lion’s share of federal Indian policy. This makes Haaland’s appointment even more significant—not just symbolic, but a true restoration of power to a people who nearly lost everything.”

Interestingly, Haaland is half Norwegian-American on her father’s side, and a 35th generation New Mexican on her mother’s side. What first attracted me to Haaland in 2018 were her philosophies around climate justice. I believe that the Native American experience of unity with nature, and the tension between that culture vs. the industrial/Western belief that nature should be used and abused, can be a helpful guide as we learn to tread more lightly on Mother Earth. I hope she’s confirmed!