It’s still dark this morning and I revel in the velvety folds.
A friend’s dog was put to sleep on Friday. Her pain and the loss are with me. We may jokingly say, “A dog is man’s best friend,” but it’s true. My two cats are sensitive to the loss, extra sweet and cuddly. We don’t know what surrounds the love we share.
I read Heather Cox Richardson every morning. Today I am struck by what President-elect Biden’s nomination of Deb Haaland as Secretary of the Interior means.
Haaland is a member of the Laguna Pueblo people who have lived in the land that is now New Mexico for 35 generations. She is the daughter of two military veterans. A single mother who earned a law degree with a young daughter in tow, she was a tribal leader focused on environmentally responsible economic development for the Lagunas before she became a Democratic leader.
Her nomination for Interior carries with it deep symbolism. If confirmed, Haaland will be the first Native American Cabinet secretary and will head the department that, in the nineteenth century, destroyed Indigenous peoples for political leverage.
Richardson goes on to name the horrific ways the Native people have been treated, and how now we acknowledge and move forward for ourselves and the generations to come.
The Interior Department today manages our natural resources as well as the government’s relationship with Indigenous tribes. Placing Haaland at the head of it is more than simply promoting diversity in government. It is a recognition of 170 years of American history and the perversion of our principles by men who lusted for power. It is a sign that we are finally trying to use the government for the good of everyone.
“A voice like mine has never been a Cabinet secretary or at the head of the Department of Interior,” Haaland tweeted after the announcement. “I’ll be fierce for all of us, our planet, and all of our protected land.”
A new world struggles to be born.
And on our planet, tomorrow the light returns. May that light shine in all ways.