Deb Haaland makes history as first Native American cabinet member

Washington, DC - The US Senate on Monday confirmed Deb Haaland as the new head of the Department of Interior, making the congresswoman the first Native American to hold a national cabinet post.

Deb Haaland, a member of New Mexico's Laguna Pueblo, has become the first Native American cabinet secretary in US history.
Deb Haaland, a member of New Mexico's Laguna Pueblo, has become the first Native American cabinet secretary in US history.  © IMAGO / ZUMA Wire

Four Republican senators joined Democratic colleagues to support the New Mexico lawmaker's nomination, which passed with a 51-40 vote. Nine senators did not vote.

Haaland belongs to the Laguna Pueblo tribe. According to her official website, she is a 35th generation New Mexican.

The Interior Department is primarily responsible for the administration of federally owned land. The ministry decides, for example, whether nature reserves are designated or whether energy generation such as fracking is permitted.

Tyre Nichols' family and Monterey Park hero get special invite to Joe Biden's State of the Union
Joe Biden Tyre Nichols' family and Monterey Park hero get special invite to Joe Biden's State of the Union

The area of responsibility also includes matters relating to around 1.9 million indigenous people.

"The confirmation of Secretary Deb Haaland is a strong step forward in Democrats’ mission to advance a sustainable clean energy future in America with equity and justice for all," House speaker and leading Democrat Nancy Pelosi said in a statement.

"Secretary Haaland's confirmation is historic, and it is a source of pride for the House."

Cover photo: IMAGO / ZUMA Wire

More on US politics: