Tribes talk priorities with ‘formidable guardian’ Haaland

Apr 7, 2021

Credit Interior Secretary Deb Haaland

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Native American leaders in New Mexico say they see U.S. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland as a “formidable guardian” and steward of their interests. The Laguna Pueblo woman is the first-ever Native American cabinet secretary.

On Tuesday, she made her first official trip to her home state, where she met with tribal officials, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and members of New Mexico’s congressional delegation. The round-table discussion highlighted federal coronavirus relief while underscoring the significance of Haaland’s confirmation.

Tribal leaders told the group their prayers were answered when Haaland was chosen to head the Interior Department, which has broad authority over Native Americans.