Congresswoman Deb Haaland is the right choice for the Secretary of Interior. As an enrolled citizen of the Pueblo of Laguna, and one of the first two Native American women elected to Congress, she has spent her life standing up for Native people and tribal sovereignty.
Contact your Senators to confirm Haaland’s appointment today!
The Department of Interior is responsible for upholding the treaty and trust responsibilities to the 574 federally recognized tribes in the United States. These tribal nations together comprise more than 5.2 million American Indians and Alaska Natives whose forebears made incalculable sacrifices in the history of our nation. The daily decisions and actions of the Department of Interior directly impact tribal communities, more so than any other in the United States. The scope of these decisions range from economic development, education, law enforcement, self-governance, and tribal trust lands. But, in its 171-year history, the Department of Interior has never been led by a person who represents the people most affected by the decisions of the Department.
The U.S. Department of the Interior has a unique responsibility to Native people. DOI is the primary federal agency charged with carrying out the United States’ trust responsibility to American Indian and Alaska Native people, maintaining the government-to-government relationship with the federally recognized tribes, and promoting and supporting tribal self-determination.
DOI oversees programs that affect virtually every part of daily life for Native people and tribal communities. DOI oversees the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Bureau of Indian Education, the Bureau of Trust Funds Administration, which holds billions of dollars generated from tribal lands in trust, 55 million acres of tribal land, tribal law enforcement, housing improvement, disaster relief, administration of tribal courts and more.
The Department of Interior should be led by someone who represents the communities and people whose lives it impacts most. In it’s 171 year history, the DOI has never been led by a representative of the people it most affects. Since inception, DOI has been led by 53 different secretaries of the interior, all of whom were white people.
Congresswoman Haaland is a champion for Indigenous communities everywhere. As an enrolled citizen of the Pueblo of Laguna, and one of the first two Native American Women elected to Congress, Deb Haaland has spent her life standing up for Native people and Tribal Sovereignty.
The appointment of Congresswoman Haaland as Secretary of Interior has bipartisan support. Congresswoman Haaland cares deeply about rural and western communities and comes from a family of hunters, farmers, and ranchers. Members of Congress on both sides of the aisle see this and believe she will have a balanced approach to Interior decisions; ones that will represent all Americans including rural communities, reservation communities, working class communities and communities of color whose perspectives and experiences have too often been ignored.
Congresswoman Haaland represents all Americans. Congresswoman Haaland understands the economic struggles that so many Americans are experiencing, because she has lived those struggles. She grew up in a military family and attended 13 different public schools. After graduating high school, she worked at a New Mexico bakery for 13 years then, at the age of 28, enrolled at the University of New Mexico, living paycheck-to-paycheck, relying on food stamps, and occasionally dealing with homelessness as a single mother. She owned a small company called Pueblo Salsa that she ultimately sold in 2005 to attend University of New Mexico Law School.
Congresswoman Haaland is ready to lead the Department of Interior. Through her many leadership roles in the House of Representatives, Haaland is the architect of a vision for how America can conserve at least 30 percent of America’s land and water by the end of the decade – a landmark commitment reflected in the Biden-Harris climate plan. With her experience helping lead the House Natural Resources Committee, Haaland is well-prepared to accelerate renewable energy production on America’s public lands and ocean, and to create jobs by restoring and protecting our parks and wildlife for future generations.
Nominating Congresswoman Deb Haaland would be a historic nomination and illustrate America’s commitment to righting the injustices of the past. Congresswoman Deb Haaland would be the first Native American Cabinet Secretary. This historic nomination reflects President-elect Biden’s determination to confront long-running injustices toward Indigenous peoples in America and to finally and fully uphold our country’s trust and treaty obligations to tribal nations.
At Native Organizers Alliance we launched a campaign to advocate for Congresswoman Deb Haaland to be nominated for this important position in President-elect Joe Biden’s Cabinet. With your help and that of our grassroots organizers we delivered a list of 18,000 people’s names endorsing Deb Haaland for Secretary of the Interior to Biden’s transition team showing widespread support for her nomination.
“Rep. Haaland’s nomination to lead the Department of the Interior is a historic moment for tribes and the representation of Native peoples in our federal government. Her nomination validates the impact Native people had in this year’s presidential election. For the first time, we will have a person who looks like us and understands the complexities of treaties and tribal governments in the process of overseeing public lands.
Rep. Haaland brings deep experience in natural resources and tribal sovereignty, and an understanding of our Indigenous ways of protecting our lands, waters, fish, and wildlife. Native peoples have always been stewards of this land but we have not always been in the political positions to make the key policy decisions that shape our natural resources.
We praise President-elect Joe Biden for his decision to nominate a Native woman for a position that has tremendous impact on tribal governments and our cultures and traditions. This decision will have a lasting impact on Indian Country, and we can only hope it is the first step in reversing a long history of the federal government’s failure to uphold our treaties and a signal that the Biden administration will make good on its trust responsibilities.” – Judith LeBlanc (Caddo) Director of Native Organizers Alliance
The 2020 election is an inflection point to further build Native peoples’ visibility and political power by ensuring that Native voices are heard. Our communities have untapped power because of our history, our ancestors—we must use it in many ways from the streets to the ballot box. Our collective power is necessary to move our work forward.
Natives Vote is a collaboration between IllumiNative, Native Organizers Alliance and First Peoples Worldwide. Our organizations have joined together to provide information, resources, and content to drive voter engagement in Indian Country.
Under this campaign, we are commissioning art from at least 50 Native artists including a collaboration between fashion designer Bethany Yellowtail and Steven Paul Judd with a line of apparel available at B. Yellowtail.com
We hosted two impactful virtual town halls on Facebook Live about the importance of voting and representation on Sept. 22, National Voter Registration Day, and Oct. 14.
In July 2020 we co-hosted The Time Is Now National Native Town Hall on our Facebook LIVE.
Moderating our Native Peoples, Not “Native” Mascots panel is Suzan Shown Harjo (Cheyenne and Hodulgee Muscogee), Lead Plaintiff, Harjo v. Pro Football, Inc; President, The Morning Star Institute. With panelists: Amanda Blackhorse (Diné) Lead Plaintiff, Blackhorse v. Pro Football, Inc., Carla Fredricks (Mandan Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation) Director, First Peoples Worldwide, and Dr. Stephanie Fryberg (Tulalip) University Diversity and Social Transformation Professor of Psychology, University of Michigan.
And Joined by: Notah Begay III (Pueblos of San Felipe and Isleta/Diné), PGA TOUR winner, Founder, NB3 Foundation.
The second panel is about Mt. Rushmore – the Fight for Indigenous Rights and Against White Supremacy
Join moderator Tiffany D. Cross, On-Air Analyst & Author with panelists: Faith Spotted Eagle (Yankton Sioux) Founder, Brave Heart Society, Tribal Chairman Rodney Bordeaux (Rosebud Sioux Tribe), and Nick Tilsen (Oglala Lakota) Founder, NDNCollective
Followed by How Do We Build a Multiracial Movement for Justice and Equity – moderated by Crystal Echo Hawk (Pawnee) Executive Director of IllumiNative, with panelists Derrick Johnson, President NAACP, So you want to talk about race- Ijeoma Oluo, our very own Judith LeBlanc(Caddo) Director, Native Organizers Alliance, and Marya Bangee, Executive Director, Harness.
Learn to sew a ribbon skirt with us!
We hosted a 90-minute interactive online tutorial with Alexandra Romero-Frederick (Oglala Lakota), on Indigenous ribbon skirt making.
All of our relatives, Native and non-Native, and all genders are invited to watch and learn.
For Indigenous people, the ribbon skirt tells a story of endurance, strength, spirituality, adaptation and survival.
Today, the ribbon skirt is worn to gatherings that have political, cultural, and social significance. It is a signifier of Native women’s grassroots power.
Native Americans and COVID-19 Town Hall event features indigenous leaders from health, US and tribal government, civil society, and other sectors. Judith LeBlanc, NOA Director, will discuss her panel “Pathways Forward.”
The Frank LaMere Native American Presidential was held in Sioux City, Iowa August 19-20, 2019. Co-sponsored by Native Organizers Alliance and our friends at Four Directions, the forum had dozens of endorsing organizations and hundreds of volunteers.
Eleven Presidential candidates took part over the two days, responding to questions from panels of Native tribal leaders and grassroots activists.
You can watch videos of the event below.