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Two Dozen Tribal Leaders Throw Support Behind Deb Haaland For Interior Secretary

U.S. Congresswoman Deb Haaland

As the Senate begins confirmation hearings on President-elect Joe Biden's nominees, more than two dozen Oklahoma tribal leaders are supporting Rep. Deb Haaland for Secretary of the Interior.

In a letter sent this week to Oklahoma Senators Jim Inhofe and James Lankford, the heads of 26 tribal nations said Haaland's background growing up in a family of ranchers and hunters and her ability to work across the aisle to meet the needs of Indigenous citizens make her an ideal fit to lead the department that also oversees the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

Justin Wood, the Principal Chief of the Sac and Fox Nation, was one of the leaders who signed the letter and thinks Haaland will be good for economic development.

"It is an opportunity for us to grow," said Wood. "Smaller tribes should take advantage of this opportunity to have someone in office that understands Indian Country."

Leaders who signed onto the letter also said Haaland understands sovereignty and the treaty obligations the Federal government has to the tribes.


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Allison Herrera covered Indigenous Affairs for KOSU from April 2020 to November 2023.
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