Tomorrow is a huge day for Indian Country. At 9:30 a.m. EST, the United States Senate will begin deliberations on whether to confirm Indiegnous congresswoman Deb Haaland, President Biden’s nominee for Secretary of the Interior. Predictably and unfortunately, as a strong advocate for the environment and the first Native person nominated for a Cabinet-level position, she faces strong opposition from conservative senators who fear she’ll prioritize the protection of public lands over the oil companies who line their pockets at our expense.
That’s why it’s critical — right now — that we continue putting all the pressure we can on every U.S. senator to confirm her nomination. Please use this link and let your senators know it’s high time to put a highly qualified Native woman at the helm of the Interior Department. It’s time to protect sacred lands and water and make sure the federal government’s relationships with tribal governments are overseen by one who deeply understands all the issues we face.
When I say we, I mean not just Native people. All of us have seen the increasing levels of disaster wrought by climate change and our lack of preparedness. And while disasters tend to hit harder in Black and Brown communities, nobody is immune. Right now, for example, my heart goes out to all those suffering through severe weather, extreme cold, electrical blackouts, and lack of clean water in Texas.
It’s worth noting that so much of what has happened there was avoidable. Rather than taking trips to Cancun and falsely blaming windmills and the Green New Deal for their state’s problems, rightwing Texas officials should have outfitted their windmills with cold weather protections — an easy fix, and far less costly than what they face now.
In contrast to Texas’ finest, Haaland understands the potential of renewable energy to advance our clean energy economy. Her deep knowledge of what it takes to protect the people and planet are why, in addition to her Cabinet nomination, Biden tapped Rep. Haaland to join his climate team. It’s also a big reason why conservative, oil-loving senators oppose her nomination.
Bottom line, Deb Haaland is the right woman, at the right time, for this extremely important job. Please do all that you can to see that she’s given the opportunity.
Wopila tanka — big thanks for supporting Deb at this critical hour!
Madonna Thunder Hawk
Cheyenne River Organizer
The Lakota People’s Law Project