Select a Native American to run the Department of the Interior

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We would like to formally request that incoming U.S. President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris name the Department of the Interior to be filled now, and ideally in perpetuity, by a Native American.

We need a leader who will strengthen our country and not give in to corporations looking to exploit our shared resources. The Native tribes of this land have centuries-long traditions of doing just that: caring for the land, living in harmony with it, and using its resources in balance and with reverence.


Let’s not forget that nearly all Americans reside on land that was mostly stolen from Native tribes. Despite this injustice, Native American communities actively participate in our democracy and were essential to the coalition-building that led to Joe Biden and Kamala Harris’s historic win in this year’s presidential election. For example, some tribes in Arizona voted 97% for Biden-Harris. We owe it to our Native American communities to give them a seat at the table.


Ideally, we would like to see a panel of tribal leaders weigh in on the selection process for this cabinet position, using criteria important to them for such an appointment. This process would demonstrate deference to these groups suffering at the U.S. government’s hands since the founding of our country.


Naming a Native American to lead the Department of the Interior honors the sacrifice Native tribes have made for the growth of our country, as well as rewards them for their participation in our democracy. Most importantly, it provides this important leadership role to a group that culturally is best suited to protect our natural resources in a sustainable and honorable manner.


Sign this petition to ask the Biden-Harris administration to appoint a Native American leader as the next Secretary of the Interior.