Biden appointments, including Nez Perce fisheries champion, bolster Native American presence in federal government

Exciting times! Read full article on Seattle Times. Thanks to Cyn Rivera for forwarding!

There’s a saying in Indian Country: either you are at the table, or you are on the menu.

Appointments by the Biden administration now in the works would put American Indian and Alaska Native people very much at the table, including posts where Native people have never before served, with enormous influence over lands and waters and environmental policy across the U.S.

The appointments, some already made and others under consideration, are a redemptive moment for federal agencies that in the past terminated the federal relationship with tribes, destroyed tribal fisheries and worked hard to eliminate tribal cultures.

The biggest appointment, still to be confirmed by Congress, is that of U.S. Rep. Deb Haaland, of New Mexico and a member of the Laguna Pueblo tribe, to serve as secretary of the Department of the Interior. Other appointments include Robert Anderson, who would be one of Haaland’s top lawyers, and Jaime Pinkham, a Nez Perce tribal member, to a top post at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

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