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Choctaw Chief congratulates new Interior Secretary as first Native American to serve as Cabinet Secretary

Image courtesy of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians

On Monday, the U.S. Senate confirmed Deb Haaland as Interior Secretary by a 51 – 40 vote.  This makes her the first Native American to hold a position as Cabinet Secretary.

Chief Cyrus Ben of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians issued the following statement, congratulating Haaland on the confirmation.

The U.S. Senate voted to confirm Representative Deb Haaland as the first Native American to serve as Secretary of the Department of the Interior. This historic and symbolic confirmation gives us great hope that underrepresented voices will be elevated in the Biden Administration. I have had the pleasure of meeting with Deb Haaland on multiple occasions and am confident she will do an excellent job in this new role. In her statement before the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, Rep. Haaland said, “I hope this nomination would be an inspiration for Americans – moving forward together as one nation and creating opportunities for all of us.”


I look forward to working with soon-to-be Secretary Haaland and her team at the Interior Department. On behalf of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, I offer our heartfelt congratulations. Let us lift her up in prayer as she prepares for the important work ahead.

During Haaland’s confirmation hearing, Mississippi Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith questioned Haaland on job losses and economic harm linked to executive orders issued by Biden from his first day in office.  Hyde-Smith said Haaland is on record as stating, “I pledge to vote against all new fossil fuel infrastructure and to fight instead for 100 percent clean energy.”

Hyde-Smith serves on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

Both Senator Hyde-Smith and Senator Roger Wicker voted against Haaland’s confirmation.  Click here to see the final Senate vote.

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