Haaland OK’d at Interior, 1st Native American Cabinet head

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate has confirmed New Mexico Rep. Deb Haaland as interior secretary, making her the first Native American to lead a Cabinet department and the first to lead the federal agency that has wielded influence over the nation’s tribes for nearly two centuries.

Democrats and tribal groups hailed Haaland’s confirmation as historic. For the first time a Native American will lead the powerful department where decisions on relations with the nearly 600 federally recognized tribes are made.

Interior also oversees a host of other issues, including energy development on public lands and waters, national parks and endangered species.

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