WASHINGTON — A coalition of Democrats, Native Americans and liberal activists is urging President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. to nominate one of Congress’s first Native American women to head the Interior Department, putting an American Indian in control of vast swaths of the continent and the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
The nomination of Representative Deb Haaland, Democrat of New Mexico, as Interior secretary would have undeniable symbolic power.
Ms Haaland and Sharice Davids of Kansas made history in 2018 as the first two Native American women elected to Congress, and Ms. Haaland would do so again as the first Native American cabinet secretary.
But her lack of policy experience worries some Biden advisers, who have suggested another Native American candidate: Michael L. Connor, a deputy Interior secretary in the Obama administration, whose experience is unquestioned, even if he lacks the star power of Ms. Haaland.
Ms. Haaland is a citizen of the Laguna Pueblo, and Mr. Connor is from the Taos Pueblo, sovereign nations near Albuquerque and Taos that are among the country’s 574 federally recognized tribes.
WASHINGTON, Joseph R, Biden, Deb Haaland, Ms Haaland, Sharice Davids, Haaland, Michael L, Connor, Obama
Interior Department, of Indian Affairs, Congress
American, New Mexico, Kansas, Laguna Pueblo, Taos Pueblo, Albuquerque, Taos