Congressman Deb Haaland will be the first Native American woman to hold a ministerial post in the US cabinet. A majority in the Senate confirmed her nomination as Home Secretary in the cabinet of Democratic President Joe Biden on Monday (local time). She should be sworn in shortly.
Haaland, from the state of New Mexico, belongs to the Pueblo of Laguna tribe. According to her website, her family has lived in the southern state for more than 30 generations. The vote in the Senate was 51 to 40. Many Republicans complain that Haaland’s views on environmental issues, among other things, are too extreme. However, the 60-year-old also got four votes from the ranks of the political opponent.
The new minister had announced in advance that she wanted to promote renewable energies in order to combat climate change. During her pre-Senate hearing, she said she felt a duty to protect the country. Any Native American would understand that.
After her confirmation, she said: “I am aware of the historical significance of this moment. But I also want to say: This is not about me. Instead, I hope this can become an inspiration for Americans to move forward as a nation and create opportunities for each of us. “
Topics such as fracking also fall within her area
In the USA, the Ministry of the Interior, with around 70,000 employees, is primarily responsible for the administration of the state-owned land. The ministry decides, for example, whether nature reserves are designated or whether energy generation such as fracking is permitted. The area of responsibility also includes the national parks and important matters relating to the approximately 1.9 million indigenous people.
Internal security, on the other hand – which is the responsibility of the interior ministries in Europe – is the responsibility of the home security department in the USA.