The Indigenous history of the United States and so many other countries is often overlooked. Having voices like mine in the halls of power provides an important perspective, and shines light on blind spots that have existed due to the nature of who traditionally is elected. With a new movement of Indigenous people across the globe working to protect the planet and our sacred places, we have found our voice.
Part of my job as one of the first Native American women serving in Congress is to ensure my colleagues know just how important our land is. We can convey to our colleagues what it feels like to have a very long bond with the land, and why it's important that we protect those spaces. It’s about understanding our past and talking about our future. It’s going to save our planet.
It’s also the key to ensure that no matter what a person’s background is, they too can run for office. Everyone deserves to identify with the governments that represent us. It's not only reserved for other folks. It belongs to all of us. Those of us who want to lead. We should be fierce and lead, because our lived experiences are invaluable to the public discourse.
- Congresswoman Deb Haaland, Member of the Pueblo of Laguna, Representing New Mexico.
Confirmed as Secretary of the Interior, 15th March 2021.