What They Are Saying – Overwhelming Support For Rep. Deb Haaland For Secretary of Interior

Washington D.C. – Today, Representative Deb Haaland continues to present a strong, compelling argument before the Senate’s Energy and Natural Resources committee on why she would be an extraordinary Secretary of the Interior who will protect public lands, secure the right to clean air and clean water, and create millions of good-paying clean energy jobs as part President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better Agenda.

National and Indigenous leaders, political figures, climate experts, and activists are strongly coming out in support of Haaland, highlighting her credentials, experience, and bipartisan accomplishments in the U.S. House. These voices are also pushing back against comments from Republican members of the Senate committee, including Sen. Steve Daines, that they see as racist and sexist against the first Indigenous woman nominated for a Cabinet position:

A sample of the overwhelming response Haaland is receiving from national figures it below:

What They Are Saying:

Former Senators Tom and Mark Udall – ‘Vehement Opposition To Deb Haaland ‘motivated By Something Other Than Her Record’: “Haaland, through her life’s journey and her record in Congress, has shown that she understands we don’t inherit the earth from our parents — we borrow it from our children and the yet unborn. She knows the damage that unbalanced energy development can levy not only on our air, land and water, but also on the profound health and cultural costs that front-line and Native American communities are forced to endure. Haaland is nomination is historic and overdue. This understanding of how policy impacts both our natural resources and our people is critical for any leader. Instead of criticizing Rep. Haaland’s work advocating for New Mexicans and Native American and Indigenous communities, senators should focus on how she leads with empathy to find common ground for all.” [USA Today 02/23/21]

Billings Gazette Editorial Board – ‘Haaland Would Go A Long Way Toward Healing Long-festering Wound’: Deb Haaland is not a radical. She is a progressive. She is well-respected by many Republicans in Congress and in her home state. Her leadership of Interior would send a huge signal to the 10 percent of Daines’ constituents who are Native Americans — and to the rest of us as well. BIA’s management has in the past verged on genocidal toward Native Americans. Her assumption of this role would go a long way toward healing long-festering wounds.” [Billings Gazette 2/21/21]

Santa Fe New Mexican Editorial Board – ‘For New Mexico, Haaland’s Nomination To The Post Is A Moment Of Pride’: “Yes, this is a moment of pride for Pueblo people and, really, all Americans. A descendant of America’s original inhabitants soon could be running the department that oversees the nation’s public lands and national parks. The Department of the Interior also oversees the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the agency that is a main contact point between Native people and the government.” [Santa Fe New Mexican 2/21/21]

Zuni Tribal Member and CEO of the Colorado Plateau Foundation Jim Enote  -’ It is time for ‘something else’ at the Interior Department’: “Haaland’s nomination sends a powerful and uplifting message. She has advocated for the representation of marginalized voices, job growth, broadband deployment, climate resiliency and water infrastructure. She will reenergize the government-to-government relationship between the United States and tribes, and she will play a key leadership role in Biden’s commitment to involve tribes in the care and management of public lands that are of cultural significance to tribal nations. [Salt Lake Tribune 2/22]

Executive Director Navajo & Hopi Families COVID Relief Fund – “If Deb Haaland is confirmed as interior secretary, it would be a huge win forArizona”: Ethel Billie Branch writes for the Arizona Republic, “The confirmation of U.S. Rep. Debra Haaland as secretary of interior by the Senate on Feb. 23 will be a tremendous win for Arizona. She represents New Mexico, but Ms. Haaland is a daughter of Arizona. Born and raised in Winslow, she is one of us. She deeply understands our history and our struggles. She also shares a unique life experience with the 317,000-plus Indigenous citizens of this state, and a rare intimate knowledge of the inherent sovereign authority of our state’s 22 Indigenous Nations.”

Native News Online – Indigenous Organizations Challenge GOP attempt to block Haaland from Becoming the First Native American Secretary ofInterior: “With his condescending and cynical remarks, Senator Daines may succeed in ginning up the MAGA base, but he also evokes the ‘Great White Father’ in his paternalistic attitude toward not only Representative Haaland but his Indigenous constituents. His buzzword of choice to undermine her is ‘radical’ and so we’ve given it right back to him.” [Native News Online 2/20/21]

Nearly 500 Groups Urge Rep. Haaland Be Confirmed For InteriorSecretary — Haaland is a “Proven Leader”: “As Vice Chair of the House Natural Resources Committee and Chair of the National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands subcommittee, Rep. Haaland is a proven leader and the right person to lead the charge against the existential threats of our time – tackling the climate, extinction and COVID-19 crises, and racial justice inequities on our Federal public lands.” [Nearly 500 groups urge Rep. Haaland be confirmed forInterior Secretary 2/16/21]

Republican Rep. Don Young, while testifying on Haaland’s behalf – ‘She’ll reach across the aisle’: “I will say I think she is a friend and as a member of this administration, she’ll do a good job. She’ll work for us, and she’ll reach across the aisle.” [CSPAN 2/23/21]

Former Sens. Daschle and Dorgan Publish – Haaland will “bring a Westerner’s perspective and familiarity to energy”: “Rep. Haaland will bring a Westerner’s perspective and familiarity to the energy issues facing the Department of the Interior. As any nominee for Interior Secretary would must do, she must support the vision of the Biden-Harris Administration on climate change and the goal of transition away from fossil fuels.  Rep. Haaland has been clear in her belief that a robust climate agenda is also an economic agenda – and has also demonstrated her understanding that investments in clean energy generation can work hand in hand with maximizing job retention and creation with the energy sector.  Supporting the Administration she serves does not make her an ideologue or a radical.  What Rep. Haaland is, is indigenous.  She embraces indigenous values, values from which we know our nation can benefit.” [Sioux Falls Argus Leader 2/19/21]

Former Attorney General Of The Navajo Nation Ethel Billie Branch – ‘If Deb Haaland Is Confirmed As Interior Secretary, It Would Be A Huge Win For Arizona’: “Ms. Haaland offers the hope of a secretary of interior who will look at us and see our basic humanity and our urgent human needs. As secretary of interior, she will understand that, in Indian country, it is not about building back better; it is about conducting the initial build of the capital infrastructure that the rest of this country has long enjoyed but has never existed in our homelands.” [Arizona Republic: If Deb Haaland is confirmed as interior secretary, it would be a huge win for Arizona 2/22/21]

Nick Tilsen, Oglala Lakota Citizen and president of the NDN Collective:“We want to see action,” said Tilsen, an Oglala Lakota citizen and president of the activist organization NDN collective. “In this time of racial justice and reckoning, we want to make sure Indigenous people aren’t left out of that narrative.” [Associated Press: Tribes have high hopes as Haaland confirmation hearing nears 2/20/21]

Sen. Ron Wyden –  Haaland will “Be there for rural jobs”: “Not only am I going to support you, but I’m going to speak for you on the floor of the Senate because I think you have made the case beyond a doubt that you’ll be there for rural jobs. You’ll do it in a way that isn’t divorced from protecting our treasures which is in my part of the world. We want jobs and environmental protection. We see two sides of the same coin. I think you get it.” [Indian Country Today2/24/21]

Jesse Deubel of the New Mexico Wildlife Federation and Frank Szollosi ofthe Montana Wildlife Federation — Haaland “Racked up some important wins for hunters and anglers”: “During her first term, Haaland racked up some important wins for hunters and anglers including helping to usher the Great American Outdoors Act into law, along with working to pass America’s Conservation Enhancement Act. Together with other efforts to improve public access to public lands, she’s fought to fully fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund while addressing the maintenance backlog on our public lands. She’s also carried legislation to improve and promote access to public lands for our service members and veterans.” [Bozeman Daily Chronicle: Sen. Daines is wrong about Haaland’s credentials 2/21/21]

Anna Peterson, Executive Director of The Mountain Pact — Haaland is “ideal choice”: “Over the past four years our public lands were sold off to the Trump administration’s friends and former clients while draining the agencies of their experienced staff. Our country needs Representative Deb Haaland at the helm of the Department of Interior to be able to correct so many wrongdoings from the Trump administration. As an indigenous woman and a Westerner with extensive experience protecting and managing America’s most majestic landmarks, she is the ideal choice for the Secretary of Interior. We urge the Senate to confirm her as quickly as possible.” [The Wilderness Society 2/16/21]