“American Indians have high hopes that Deb Haaland, Biden’s pick for interior secretary, can reset the troubled relationship between the federal government and Indigenous peoples. Can she deliver?”
“BERNALILLO, N.M. — In her little home office, a cubbyhole in an apartment north of Albuquerque, Phoebe Suina was listening to the start of yet another presentation on a long Zoom call.
Then suddenly the speaker’s eyes teared up and her voice shook as she shared news: President-elect Joe Biden had selected Rep. Deb Haaland (D-N.M.), a Pueblo Indian like herself and most of the 20 people on the call, to become interior secretary.
“My first line was, Are you for real? Am I dreaming?” said Suina, who also started to cry. Her daughter and son rushed to her side. “In our native language, they asked, ‘Why are you crying, Mom?’ And I told them these were tears of joy.””