U.S. President-elect Joe Biden on Saturday unveiled Deb Haaland, a Native American as his nominee to lead the Department of the Interior.
Haaland, 60, is a member of the House of Representatives from New Mexico. She was also the first Native American to be elected into Congress in 2018.
Haaland’s role would see her oversee American Indian affairs, including how America’s treaties with Indigenous people are fulfilled and how public lands are managed.
Her nomination was first made known on Thursday.
In a tweet, in response, Haaland wrote: “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 honoured and ready to serve.”
Haaland is a member of the Laguna Pueblo people, “a barrier-breaking public servant who has spent her career fighting for families, including in Tribal Nations, rural communities, and communities of colour.”
At present, she is the vice chair of the House Committee on Natural Resources.