Fri. Feb 26th, 2021

By FELICIA FONSECA, associated Press

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) – For Native Americans, Deb Hollande is more than an elected official to become the first indigenous secretary of the Department of the Interior. She is a sister, an aunt and a fierce Pueblo woman who has been raised politically by her upbringing.

News of his historic nomination electrified the Indian country. Aboriginal leaders and organizations have for weeks urged people to write and call US senators who will decide if he will lead the agency that oversees Native American affairs and energy development extensively.

On Tuesday, confirmation of Halaand will be heard in tribal communities across America with virtual parties amid an epidemic. The day before, a picture of new Mexico Congressmen were projected towards the inner building with the text reading “Our ancestors’ dreams come true”.

Many Native Americans see Hollande as a reflection of himself, someone who will raise his voice and protect the environment and the rights of tribes. Here are stories of his influence:


Suzzo first met Holland when he was campaigning for Barack Obama, walking door-to-door in Pueblos, New Mexico.

When Hollande herself was chosen to represent New Mexico as one of the first two Native American women, she turned to Suzhou and the state’s Native American Democratic Caucus to arm her for the reception.

He made hundreds of Pueblo pies, or pastelitos, and cookies, freeze them and took them to Washington, DC, dressed in traditional black clothes, and gifted them with a thank-you note from The Holland.

Suzzo said she praises Haland because she is eloquent and smart, “there is no beating around Bush,” and she is a member of the Laguna Pueblo who returned there to dance as a prayer.

Suzzo was not overjoyed when he heard that Holland was named as Secretary of the Interior soon after winning a second term in Congress.

“Oh my gush, she’s going to go there, and who’s going to represent us?” Said Suejo, who lives in Rio Rancho, New Mexico. “Who is going to represent New Mexico? Our one and only Indian representative goes.”

She said she wanted to be assured that Holland would be replaced by someone who is dynamic, who would work hard to protect the environment, address an epidemic of missing and killed indigenous women and expand broadband.

“I was happy, but I was scared. I didn’t want to lose it, “said Suzzo.

But she sees the importance and importance, she said, of an agency overseeing Native Americans that touches almost every aspect of American American life. Suzzo said that she would be watching, ready to shout at the screen if anyone questions Holland’s eligibility.

And for Haland, she sends the message: be gumh, or a strong woman.

Brandi Liberty, 41, IOWA Tribe of Kovasa and Nebraska

When Liberty saw a traditional ribbon skirt and a photo of Holland in Moccasin for the opening of Joe Biden, she cried.

She thought of her grandmother, Ethyl Simmonds Liberty, who did not become a US citizen at the age of 9 until she was born in the US on a tribe’s reservation Kansas And Nebraska. He said his grandmother was a powerful advocate for her people, petitioned to turn a pigpen into a playground, wrote letters to American presidents and paved the way for reservations.

Brandi Liberty thought of her own daughter, who she hopes will carry on her legacy in working with tribes and adopting her legacy.

She thought of her time in college as earning a master’s degree and allowing single mothers to bring their children to class, each of them realizing that it was not a burden but a necessity. She later became a single mom like Holland, who has often talked about the experience, relying on food stamps and working in college.

Liberty also thought of other tribal nations and what Halande could do in terms of moving them in the right direction and connecting Washington, DC essentially to Liberty’s grandmother in a big way.

Liberty, who lives in New Orleans, said, “This is no different from when Obama became the first black president and was signed.” “It is a historic mark for the Indian country as a whole.”

ZACHARIAH Demons Reach 21, Montana’s Blackbeat Tribute

Riding at the door is environmental science and sustainability and studying fire science as a third-year student of the university Montana In Missoula.

He brings a point of view to his studies that Holland has been as unique from the Indian country – that everything is alive and should be treated with respect and the people should be the stews of the land, not the dominion over it .

In high school, he learned about the mining industry and how it affected the sites that are part of the blackfat construction story. He learned about the stance taken by the American Indian movement to fight for equality and recognition of tribal sovereignty. He also recently learned that Charles Curtis was the Native American vice president in the United States from 1929 to 1933.

He said that Holland’s political edge is inspiring.

“This is a great way for young natives to say, ‘Well, our foot is in the door. There’s a chance that we can get high,'” he said.

He is not yet sure what he wants to do with the college. But he knows he wants to learn the Blackfat language, and maybe become a firefighter or work on projects that route buffalo to the Blackfeet Reservation.

He plans to hold at least part of Haland’s confirmation hearing from home, hoping that he is successful and can challenge Western ideology.


During her recent campaign Arizona The legislative seat, Nez-Manuel, sought support from Holland. She was looking for someone whose values ​​she was associated with: grounded in beliefs, grounded, a consistent and strong leader unchanged by politics.

After layers of waiting, he gained support and planned to announce a vote-out rally in the Gila River Indian community in Arizona, featuring Holland. It was also a chance for the two women to take a picture together.

Then, the event was canceled due to a coronavirus pandemic. Nez-Manuel was devastated.

A few days ago, when she was about to meet Holland, Nez-Manuel was sitting at home when her phone rang. She did not recognize the number, but still responded.

“Hey Debbie, this is Deb,” said the voice on the phone.

“Who?” Nez-Manuel asked.

The caller responded: “Deb Holland. good morning. I am calling from New Mexico. I am sitting in my kitchen. “

Nez-Manuel’s heart was racing, and she struggled to put all her thoughts into what she had written so carefully for that meeting in words. Haland, she said, was patient and shared stories about life with reservations – something that resonated with Nez-Manuel – and reaffirmed that Haland had not forgotten his roots.

“It’s like talking to an aunt,” he said. “That is a very important thing.”

Nez-Manuel made fun of getting an airplane ticket to hear Haaland’s confirmation in person to get that elusive picture.

Instead, she and her husband, Royce, will be watching from home in Phoenix’s Salt-River Pema Maricopa Community Northeast. She has encouraged her children’s teachers to incorporate lesson plans and hearings into tribes to help answer questions about the process.

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