FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, March 15, 2021
Congresswoman Deb Haaland’s Confirmation as Interior Secretary Will Bring a New Era of Tribal Consultation and Protection of Public Lands
SANTA FE – On the occasion of U.S. Representative Deb Haaland’s historic confirmation as Secretary of the Interior, Conservation Voters New Mexico has the following statement.
It is both wonderful and astounding that Secretary Haaland will be the first Indigenous person to lead the Interior Department, which has had a trust responsibility with tribal nations honored more often in the breach than in true partnership.
Secretary Haaland’s appointment marks a clean break with the corrupt and dysfunctional Interior Department leadership during the Trump administration. More importantly, her role as an Indigenous woman at the head of the federal lands agency will be a powerful acknowledgment of whose lands we are all living on and the hard conversations and work ahead of us as the country acts on that acknowledgement.
Her nomination signals the Biden administration’s recognition of the need to truly engage and consult with the tribes and pueblos on land decisions and acknowledge that we are all occupying Indigenous lands. Secretary Haaland will bring her community-centered connection to land and water to her leadership role in ways that fully embody New Mexico’s deep-rooted values.
In introducing 30×30 legislation in the House of Representatives, Representative Haaland said “our communities deserve fresh air to breathe, clean water to drink, and a livable planet, but right now inaction on climate change is putting everything at risk, particularly in communities of color.” This is a different and bolder idea for how our public lands can be used – to support a growing, equitable, diverse and sustainable outdoor recreation economy and protect 30 percent of our lands and waters by 2030.
This is a hopeful time again for the country and I am confident that Secretary Haaland will represent the diversity of our country and help put us on a sustainable and equitable path forward.
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Demis Foster, Executive Director | firstname.lastname@example.org or 505.795.1242
CVNM is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization connecting the people of New Mexico to their political power in order to protect our air, land, water, wildlife and communities for a healthy Land of Enchantment. CVNM does this by mobilizing voters, winning elections, holding elected officials accountable, and advancing responsible public policies.