Navajo Nation president celebrates Biden-Harris choice for Interior Secretary


WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. — Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez said he is overjoyed about the Biden-Harris transition team’s selection of Congresswoman Deb Haaland, D-N.M., to serve as the Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior when the Biden-Harris Administration takes office in January. The New Mexico Congresswoman will be the very first Native American in history to serve in this high-level position.

“It is truly a historic and unprecedented day for all Indigenous people as Congresswoman Deb Haaland has been selected to head one of the largest federal agencies, which oversees the BIA [Bureau of Indian Affairs]  and BIE [Bureau of Indian Education], at the highest level of the federal government. I congratulate her and I also thank the Biden-Harris team for making a statement and keeping their word to place Native Americans in high-level cabinet positions. I am looking forward to continuing to work with Congresswoman Haaland and the Biden-Harris Administration in the years to come,” Nez said.

In November, Nez publicly stated his support for Congresswoman Haaland to serve as the next Interior Secretary saying, “As a member of Congress, she has been a strong voice for all tribal nations and the people of New Mexico on a wide variety of issues including land management, clean energy, economic development, social justice, and job creation. Her advocacy for equality and justice has never wavered and continues to grow stronger. Her ability to weigh the issues from social, economic, and political standpoints is unique and something that is not easily found.”

Nez added that Haaland’s unique background and experiences, dedication, and commitment to public service are exactly what is needed at the helm of the Department of the Interior, especially for the Bureau of Indian Affairs and Bureau of Indian Education.

“We need a person like Congresswoman Haaland to lead the Department of the Interior to build a stronger relationship between the federal government and tribal nations,” Nez said in November.

“The appointment of Deb Haaland is not only be historic (sic), but it also sends a clear message to all tribes and people across America that the Biden-Harris Administration is committed to addressing the wrongs of the past and clearing a path for real change and opportunity for tribal nations,” Nez added.