Haaland confirmed as new DOI secretary

Updated: Mar 17

Debra Haaland

The U.S. Senate today voted to confirm Rep. Debra Haaland (D-NM) as the new secretary of the Interior by a vote of 51-40.

"As my fellow freshman colleague in the 116th Congress and on the Natural Resources Committee, we have the privilege of knowing firsthand that Congresswoman, now secretary, Haaland will serve the people and the nation with ability and dignity as our first indigenous United States Secretary of the Interior," said Guam Delegate Michael F.Q. San Nicolas

Guam Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero said she looks forward to working with Haaland.

“As the first Native American to lead the Department of Interior and hold a cabinet position, this is a significant moment. Representative Haaland has devoted her life to protecting our natural resources and our nation’s indigenous heritage for future generations," she said in a statement. "We look forward to working with her to advance policies that would preserve and restore our land, increase outdoor recreational opportunities, and tackle the serious issue of climate change—policies that benefit Guam and our sister territories.”

CNMI Gov. Ralph DLG. Torres and Lt. Gov. Arnold I. Palacios said Haaland's appointment to DOI is a historic and important achievement for indigenous people across the nation.

" She has been an advocate of indigenous rights and natural resource protection, and we support her as she assumes this important cabinet position in our federal government," Torres and Palacios said. "We look forward to working with her and the Office of Insular Affairs on discussing issues and promoting policies that are important to the CNMI and the territories. It is our collective hope that we can work for the betterment of the people of our entire nation and our Commonwealth here in the Pacific."

Prior to her appointment to the Department of the Interior, Haaland was serving as the U.S. representative for New Mexico's 1st congressional district. Haaland is a political