READ: Deb Haaland's official statement on historic nomination to Interior secretary

 READ: Deb Haaland's official statement on historic nomination to Interior secretary
© Deb Haaland Campaign

Rep. Deb HaalandDeb HaalandInterior recommends imposing higher costs for public lands drilling Overnight Energy & Environment — White House announces new climate office Biden administration approves second offshore wind project off Rhode Island MORE (D-NM) released an official statement on Thursday celebrating her historic nomination to become President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenSouth Africa health minister calls travel bans over new COVID variant 'unjustified' Biden attends tree lighting ceremony after day out in Nantucket Senior US diplomat visiting Southeast Asia to 'reaffirm' relations MORE's Secretary of the Department of Interior.

Haaland, who has been backed by a number of progressive groups as well as tribes, would take over a sprawling, 70,000-person agency with a mandate from Biden to help deliver on his climate promises.

She would make history not only as a Cabinet secretary but as the first Native American to take the reins of an agency with significant responsibility to tribes — an area where critics say the department has often fallen short.

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Read Haaland's full statement on the nomination below:

“A voice like mine has never been a Cabinet secretary or at the head of the Department of Interior. I’m incredibly honored to accept President-elect Joe Biden’s nomination for Secretary of the Interior. As our country faces the impacts of climate change and environmental injustice, the Interior has a role and I will be a partner in addressing these challenges by protecting our public lands and moving our country towards a clean energy future. 

“It’s profound to think about the history of this country’s policies to exterminate Native Americans and the resilience of our ancestors that gave me a place here today. This historic moment will not go by without the acknowledgment of the many people who have believed in me over the years and have had the confidence in me for this position. I’m forever grateful and will do everything I can to be fierce for all of us, our planet, and all of our protected land. I am honored and ready to serve."