The Christian Science Monitor

‘We have been re-written into history’: Tribes cheer Interior secretary pick

“You just have to realize ... it’s not about me, it’s about what our role is. You just reach back into yourself. She was raised with that strength, and she can do this.” – Judge Abby Abinanti, chief judge of the Yurok Tribal Court and the first Native woman to be a state judge, on Rep. Deb Haaland’s nomination as Interior secretary. Source: Ann Hermes/Staff/File

Nature is not something you inherit from your ancestors but something you steward for your descendants. At least that’s the Indigenous view.

In recent centuries, that view hasn’t carried much weight beyond tribal boundaries. Over the history of tribes’ government-to-government relationship with Washington – formalized after centuries of exploitation and bloodshed – there has been a lot more take than give from Uncle Sam.

That could soon change.

Following weeks of grassroots campaigning, Democratic Rep. Deb Haaland of New Mexico, a member of the Pueblo of Laguna tribe, has been nominated for Secretary of the Interior by President-elect Joe Biden. If confirmed she would become the first Native American Cabinet secretary in U.S. history.

A victory for progressives, and a sign of growing political power and organization in Indian Country, Representative Haaland taking lead of the sprawling Department of the

Beyond box-checkingA lonely path“We need to engage”

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