We celebrate Deb Haaland on her path-breaking role that will forever change history. Together with our more than one million members, we enthusiastically lined up to support Deb Haaland’s bid to manage our public lands and federal-tribal relations with a pro-climate conservation plan that prioritizes jobs and justice.
Deb Haaland today becomes not only the nation’s Secretary of the Interior, but also the first Indigenous cabinet secretary and second-highest-ranking enrolled Native American to ever serve in the federal government. Her dedication to lifting up the voices of those shut out for so long is equaled only by her commitment to curb fossil fuels and combat climate change with urgency.
As she told lawmakers during her nomination hearing, she will work her heart out for everyone. We know from her bipartisan accomplishments, guided by her understanding that clean energy and good-paying jobs go hand in hand, that she’s not kidding. And she certainly has a strong heart.
Deb speaks truth to power when it counts. We know Deb to be someone who will fiercely and unapologetically protect our public lands as a finite natural resource that can no longer fall prey to exploitation by those interests willing to gamble away our children’s futures.
Deb is exactly the right person at the right time to lead this crucial agency, and as mothers, we applaud this affirmation that “our country and its promise,” as she has said before, “still holds true for everyone.”
Here are statements from our Colorado and New Mexico state chapter organizers:
Shaina Oliver, Colorado field organizer:
“As a mom and member of the Indigenous community, to witness the confirmation of Deb Haaland brings me a sense of justice. Underserved tribal communities are rejoicing at this news for good reason. For far too long, Indigenous leaders were not welcomed to the table. Now we have a chance to rewrite history. Now we have a chance to defend all children’s right to clean air, water, and lands. Now we have leadership at Interior that embodies the belief in Justice in Every Breath and in every community—as a promise to our children that we are serious about climate justice.”
See also: Shaina Oliver’s joint op-ed on why Congress Must Work With Biden Administration to Protect Indigenous Communities from Climate Change, in which she argues that as an Indigenous person, the choice of Haaland to lead Interior says “that [the Biden-Harris] administration is serious about bringing on people who will indeed emphasize environmental justice in policy making.”
Celerah Hewes, New Mexico field organizer:
“Deb Haaland’s support for our climate and our families over the years has been unwavering. I know that as Interior Secretary, she will manage our federal lands and national parks by listening to diverse views and acting on the belief that the decisions we make today about our climate will affect multiple generations to come. When she has met with Moms Clean Air Force families from New Mexico, her palpable kindness, intellect, and passion for a healthy climate has been clear to even the youngest constituents.”