Oneida Nation reacts to historic confirmation of first Native American cabinet member


ONEIDA, Wis. (WBAY) – The Senate confirmed New Mexico Rep. Deb Haaland as President Biden’s inside secretary Monday.

It makes Haaland, a member of the Laguna Pueblo Tribe, the first Native American to maintain a cabinet place.

“The initial reaction is always like ‘It’s about time,’” stated Oneida Nation Vice Chairman Brandon Yellowbird Stevens.

Yellowbird Stevens says seeing Haaland formally confirmed as Interior Secretary did deliver loads of pleasure.

“It felt good. As a tribal leader it felt really good,” stated Yellowbird Stevens. “As a community member it felt ecstatic.”

Aside from bringing extra visibility to Indian Country he notes having an indigenous particular person lead the Department of the Interior, which manages the nation’s pure sources, is vitally necessary.

“It gives us not only a seat at the table but someone there who’s representing us that is bringing our agenda with her,” stated Yellowbird Stevens.

Yellowbird Stevens thinks will probably be gradual going switching to extra sustainable vitality.

“We’re not going to turn off the fossil fuel switch or anything like that. We have to make a slow transition for sure. There’s going to be a need for fossil fuels, there’s going to be a need for oil-based products for sure,” stated Yellowbird Stevens.

But he’s excited for what modifications Haaland will deliver.

“Pushing for issues that are going to benefit all of us, not just us on the reservation or Indian Country or our communities. She’s going to make decisions for all of us,” stated Yellowbird Stevens. “I know she’ll protect our Great Lakes, you know, that’s about recreation, it’s about natural resource restoration, and preservation for future generations. There’s no other person that would take that role on as a mother, as a Native American mother, who has a connection to our communities and the next seven generations making those tough decisions for us.”

As a father of daughters, Yellowbird Stevens sees this historic confirmation as a ceiling damaged.

“I think that really gives them the opportunity to see someone who looks like them that’s from where they’re from and to connect with them on a level that – you don’t really have to explain to Deb what it means to them,” stated Yellowbird Stevens.

Learn extra about Haaland’s confirmation HERE.

Copyright 2021 WBAY. All rights reserved.

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