Who Is Deb Haaland?

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In 1851, then Secretary of the Interior Alexander H.H. Stuart wrote the following: “What is to become of the aboriginal race? … A temporary system can no longer be pursued. The policy of removal, except under peculiar circumstances, must necessarily be abandoned; and the only alternatives left are, to civilize or exterminate them.” In 2021, Congresswoman Deb Haaland, a Laguna Pueblo woman, was confirmed Secretary of the Interior. Haaland, a single mother who enrolled in college at 28 and would later experience homelessness, is a remarkable person--and politician--whose presence in the Biden Administration marks a profound assertion of Indigenous political power in the United States.

  • Julia Bernal, Alliance Director at the Pueblo Action Alliance
  • John Leshy, who has dedicated much of his career to America’s public lands and the laws that govern them, served as Solicitor of the U.S. Department of the Interior throughout the Clinton Administration. His political history of public lands in the United States, “Our Common Ground,” will be published in late 2021 by Yale University Press
  • Jenni Monet, a journalist who writes about Indigenous Affairs

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52 episodes