Deb Haaland confirmed as Interior Secretary
Haaland becomes the first Native American to be confirmed to a cabinet level position and the first Native American Interior Secretary
WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. — Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer congratulated Deb Haaland, a member of the Pueblo of Laguna, in becoming the first Native American to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate as the Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior under the Biden-Harris Administration.
She was confirmed in the U. Senate by a 51-40 vote.
“This is an unprecedented and monumental day for all First People of this country,” Nez said. "Words cannot express how overjoyed and proud we are to see one of our own confirmed to serve in this high-level position. It’s a wonderful feeling that we can now refer to her as Madam Secretary.
Nez said the historic nomination means the Nation is on a better path in righting the wrongs of the past with the federal government and inspires hope in the Navajo people, especially young people.
“It gives us a seat at the table to offer a new and different perspective from a person that has experienced the reality of adversities and challenges of growing up on what federal officials refer to as ‘Indian reservations.,’” Nez said.
In November, President Nez publicly supported Congresswoman Haaland’s nomination sharing that as a member of Congress, Haaland had been a strong voice for all tribal nations and the people of New Mexico on a wide variety of issues including land management, clean energy, economic development, social justice, and job creation.
“Her ability to weigh the issues from social, economic, and political standpoints is unique and something that is not easily found,” Nez said.
Nez and Frist Lady Phefelia Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer and Second Lady Dottie Lizer sent their congratulations.
Lizer said he looks forward to working with Haaland and the rest of the federal partners to address some of the challenges related to the protection of federal lands, water resources, education and many others.
“To have one of our Native American people in this prestigious position is heartwarming and long overdue,” Lizer said.
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