Deb Haaland, a New Mexico Democrat and member of the Pueblo of Laguna, to become the first Native American secretary of interior.
African Americans, Mexican Americans, Asian Americans, Native Americans and other people of color played a crucial role in helping Biden defeat President Donald Trump.
“It’s nice to know that a Native American is under consideration,” said Haaland, who says she is concentrating on her congressional work.
The departments of defense, state, treasury, interior, agriculture, energy and health and human services and the Environmental Protection Agency are among Biden’s Cabinet-level posts where women and people of color are considered among the top contenders.
In January, Biden assured a Native American candidate forum that he would “nominate and appoint people who look like the country they serve, including Native Americans.”.
For the Department of Interior, consideration of Udall — a political ally of Biden’s for nearly 50 years who would be the second generation of his family to serve as interior secretary — is facing the historic candidacy of Haaland, a first-term congresswoman.
Asked if qualified white men with political seniority might have to step aside to make room for people of color, Udall told The Associated Press that Biden should be judged by his overall leadership team, including Cabinet secretaries and White House leaders.
“What you should look at a year or two years down the line is the leadership team at interior or EPA or agriculture,″ said Udall, whose late father, Stewart, served as interior secretary in the 1960s.
Tribal officials concur there has never been a Native American as head of interior.
The department’s websites cite six Native American heads of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, which was transferred to the Interior Department from the War Department in 1849.
recognizing Native people deserve a voice,” said Phillips, a member of the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Ojibwe
But there is not one rule or regulation that interior could change that would affect him or his family,” Semans said