Inter-Tribal Council supports Deb Haaland as secretary of Interior
TAHLEQUAH – Leaders of the Inter-Tribal Council of the Five Civilized Tribes throughout a Jan. 8 digital convention handed a sequence of resolutions, together with one supporting the affirmation of U.S. Rep. Deb Haaland, D–N.M., as secretary of the Interior.
President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris chosen Haaland as their nominee for the U.S. Interior secretary. If confirmed by the Senate, Haaland, an enrolled citizen of the Pueblo of Laguna, could be the primary American Indian to serve within the presidential Cabinet and the primary American Indian to serve as the Interior’s secretary.
“Deb Haaland is uniquely qualified to serve as secretary of the Interior,” mentioned Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. “As a graduate of the University of New Mexico Law School and a former tribal administrator, Congresswoman Haaland has firsthand knowledge of tribal governance. She is a trailblazer. The nomination of an American Indian to a cabinet-level position is groundbreaking, and it is long overdue. As a champion of tribal sovereignty, Haaland is an excellent choice to lead the Department of the Interior.”
If confirmed, Haaland could be charged with main divisions of the federal authorities which might be important to Indian Country and the government-to-government relationship, together with the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Bureau of Indian Education and the Bureau of Trust Funds Administration.
“Rep. Haaland is well-qualified to serve as the first Native American Secretary of the Interior,” mentioned Chickasaw Nation Gov. Bill Anoatubby. “I believe her nomination illustrates a unique understanding of the importance of Native involvement in vital policy decisions affecting the citizens of tribal nations.”
During her time in Congress, Haaland has served as vice chair of the U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources, as the chair of the Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands, and as a member of the Subcommittee for Indigenous Peoples of the United States.
“Native voices should always be involved in discussions that impact Native communities,” mentioned Muscogee (Creek) Nation Principal Chief David Hill. “We not only support the confirmation of Congresswoman Haaland as Secretary of the Interior, but we also ask that her selection to a cabinet-level position be only the beginning of more Native representation in the federal government, at all levels.”
A decision urging the total funding of Indian Country priorities in President Biden’s administration was additionally accredited throughout the assembly. The decision asks President Biden to undertake, as the coverage of his administration, key tribal self-governance and self-determination funding ideas to make sure most flexibility of federal funds and higher tribal inclusion within the federal budgeting course of.
Choctaw Nation Assistant Chief Jack Austin Jr., reporting on behalf of Chief Gary Batton, touched on the tribe’s latest efforts to supply providers to tribal residents together with meals safety, housing, know-how and academic help amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Like other tribes, our focus has been assisting our citizens through the pandemic while continuing the day-to-day operations,” Austin mentioned. “Despite the toll of the pandemic, our employees’ heart and compassion for their fellow man continues to be demonstrated daily. Our COVID response certainly couldn’t have happened without our employees volunteering and filling gaps for another role outside of their normal job duties.”
During the January gathering of the Five Tribes, leaders additionally chosen Hoskin to proceed serving as president of the Inter-Tribal Council for a second consecutive time period, together with Hill as vice chairman for a second consecutive time period.