Senate confirms Haaland: First indigenous people to head US Department of the Interior

Status: 16.03.2021 1:22 a.m.

The US is getting an indigenous interior minister for the first time. Congressman Haaland was confirmed in the Senate with 51 votes to 40. She now heads a ministry that has decided on indigenous issues for decades.

The US Senate has confirmed Congressman Deb Haaland as US Secretary of the Interior. The 60-year-old will become the first indigenous peoples to head the ministry that has exerted great influence on the country’s tribes for generations. 51 senators voted for Haaland, 40 against her.

Democrats and representatives of indigenous peoples recognized the decision as historic. Senate Democratic Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Haaland’s affirmation was “a gigantic step forward” towards a government that represented all of the country’s wealth and diversity. The indigenous population has been disadvantaged at government level “and in so many other areas” for far too long.

US Senate confirms Congressman Deb Haaland as the new Secretary of the Interior

daily news 05:30 a.m., March 16, 2021

Haaland’s large area of ​​responsibility

Haaland belongs to the indigenous group of the Laguna, her father is of Norwegian descent. As Minister of the Interior, she will not only oversee the concerns of the almost 600 federally recognized indigenous communities, but will also be responsible for huge publicly owned land, waterways, national parks, wildlife and mineral deposits.

Since the founding of the United States, no indigenous person has ever been responsible for the affairs of the indigenous population. During this time, the US governments often pursued policies against the interests of these ethnic groups, for example by expropriating land.

Even the nomination of Haaland was closely followed and celebrated by the indigenous population in the country. Hundreds of people attended online events to watch Haaland’s two-day hearing in February. Many indigenous people in the USA see in Haaland a minister who will make them heard and protect nature and indigenous rights.

The first indigenous to become Minister of the Interior

Katrin Brand, ARD Washington, March 16, 2021 10:24 a.m.

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