With First Native Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, Hope Grows U.S. Will Confront Toxic Uranium Legacy

Democracy Now!

Published on Mar 17, 2021

Deb Haaland, a tribal citizen of the Laguna Pueblo, is being sworn in as secretary of the interior and will be the first Native American ever to serve in a U.S. presidential cabinet. Just four Republicans joined Democrats in voting to confirm Haaland, who will manage 500 million acres of federal and tribal land. Haaland will also oversee government relations with 574 federally recognized tribal nations and is expected to address the legacy of uranium mining on Indigenous land and other areas. Leona Morgan, a Diné anti-nuclear activist and community organizer, says that while it’s “impossible to expect one person to correct the centuries of racism and policy that have really devastated our people,” there is hope that Haaland will use her power to make important changes. “She will be held accountable,” Morgan says.

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