SAINT PAUL – On Tuesday, March 16, Secretary Deb Haaland was confirmed as the U.S. Secretary of the Department of the Interior, serving as the first Indigenous American in that office. The Indigenous Legislators of Minnesota release the following statement:
"We are incredibly pleased with the confirmation of Secretary Deb Haaland as the U.S. Secretary of the Department of the Interior. This is a historic confirmation that is deeply meaningful to Indigenous communities across the nation. It is long past time that we value and empower Indigenous women, and actively encourage more representation of Indigenous peoples.
When our children and future generations look at this confirmation, they will see a pathway to leadership and opportunity that wasn’t there before. We are grateful for this development as Secretary Haaland is an example of resilience and dedication to serve our greater Indigenous communities. We hope this will usher in a new era of representation and acknowledgment of Indigenous Americans."
Reps. Jamie Becker-Finn (42B), Heather Keeler (04A), and Senator Mary Kunesh (41) gathered, dressed in ribbon skirts, to commemorate the historic moment.