March 15, 2021 Casino, Tribal, Legal

Deb Haaland confirmed as Secretary of the Interior


The United States Senate voted to confirm Deb Haaland as Secretary of the Interior, making her the first Native American to hold the position.

Haaland will oversee the Department of the Interior, which manages, the agency responsible for federal relations with Native American tribes.

Before serving as US Representative for New Mexico’s 1st congressional district, Haaland served on the Laguna Development Corporation of Board of Directors, where she enacted environmentally-friendly business policies. The Laguna Development Corporation manages gaming operation of the Laguna Pueblo people in north-central New Mexico.

Haaland’s nomination as Secretary received wide praise from tribal gaming leaders.

Upon her nomination, the National Indian Gaming Association said, “We are honored to have been part of Ms. Haaland’s journey to Congress and now with her path to this long-awaited representation within a presidential administration. Ms. Haaland has worked hard to be a fierce advocate for Indian Country and has been a trailblazer during her career in public office. It is time that one of our own from Indian Country is at the head of the Department of Interior, and as the stewards of this land from time immemorial, we are more than confident that she will lead the Department into a future that protects our land and treaty rights as Native peoples.”

The DOI’s purview includes managing national parks and multiuse public lands as well as fulfilling the federal Indian trust responsibility. The Bureau of Indian Affairs also falls under the DOI’s watch.

The BIA carries out the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act and is responsible for overseeing gaming compacts.

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