Welcome Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland

MEDIA ADVISORY FOR: Thursday, March 18, 2021 — 10:30am ET

CONTACT: Madison Donzis | madison@unbendablemedia.com 

TODAY 10:30AM: Interior Secretary Deb Haaland to View Congratulatory Billboard as Activists Informally Gather to Praise Her Historic Confirmation

Mobile Billboard to Circle Interior Department Offices in DC Celebrating Haaland’s Historic Confirmation as the First Indigenous Woman Cabinet Secretary; Leadership on Public Lands and Climate Change

WASHINGTON, DC — Today, Thursday, March 18th at 10:30am ET, newly-confirmed Interior Secretary Deb Haaland will informally meet with activists outside of the Department of Interior offices in Washington DC, to accept well-wishes praising her historic confirmation as the first Indigenous woman to serve in the President’s Cabinet. She will also be on hand to view a congratulatory mobile, digital billboard with messages from Indigenous grassroots women leaders from across the country.

In an informal gathering, UltraViolet executive director Shaunna Thomas and Center for Native American Youth executive director Nikki Pitre will unveil the digital billboard on behalf of Indigenous women, environmental advocates and citizens concerned about climate change.  

WHEN: Today, Thursday, March 18th. 10:30am ET

WHERE: US Department of Interior. 1849 C St NW, Washington, DC 20240. The billboard will be parked at the C-Street entrance of DOI during the informal meet and greet

UltraViolet, in partnership with Protect the Sacred, ACLU South Dakota, IllumiNative, Center for Native American Youth at the Aspen Institute, Native Organizers Alliance, Advance Native Political Leadership, and Indigenous LifeWays, commissioned a mobile billboard with messages from seven Indigenous women leaders from around the United States celebrating Haaland’s historic confirmation and talking about what her leadership at Interior means for America’s Indigenous communities, public lands, and fight against climate change. 

The billboard will be parked outside of the Interior Department throughout the day.

VIEW THE VIDEO MESSAGES ON DISPLAY HERE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Dcc-yN6BFg&feature=youtu.be 

The messages on the digital billboard include the following quotes from Indigenous women leaders:

Secretary Haaland will be a fierce advocate for clean air and water, for our land and for its relatives.” – Nikki Pitre, Executive Director at the Center for Native American Youth

“This is a proud moment for Indigenous people! Secretary Haaland is the fierce leader we need. She’ll lead us like our ancestors have – from our cultural foundations and teachings rooted in Mother Earth.” – Allie Young, Director of Protect the Sacred

“Secretary Haaland is the perfect person to lead the interior department. She brings the Indigenous understanding that the present is where our collective past connects to our collective future.” – Judith LeBlanc, Director, Native Organizers Alliance

“Secretary Haaland, may our ancestors guide and protect your leadership. Indigenous women will continue to fight fiercely for reflective representation so you are the first of many.” – Anathea Chino, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Advance Native Political Leadership

 “There has always been Two Spirit Warriors and Indigenous Womxn in positions of power since before first contact. Today, we are fierce, evolved versions of our ancestors they could not kill.” – Candi Brings Plenty, Oglala Lakota Sioux /Indigenous Justice Organizer & Lobbyist, ACLU

You are the reflection of our ancestors. Lead with compassion as so many grandmothers did before you. Honor our treaties as it is the supreme law of the land and continue to fight against injustice.” – Krystal Curley, Executive Director of Indigenous Life Ways

“Native leadership and values are crucial to protecting the planet for future generations. We are proud of and support Secretary Haaland as she continues to make history!” – Crystal Echo Hawk, Founder and Executive Director of IllumiNative

In addition to celebrating Deb Haaland’s historic confirmation, activists note that Haaland is a public lands champion with vast experience protecting and managing America’s most majestic landmarks. She has a strong record of fighting for science, climate action, the protection of iconic landscapes, critical culture sites, wildlife, oceans, rivers, lakes and streams. 

“We have many reasons to celebrate Interior Secretary Deb Haaland. Besides her historic nomination, she is exactly the type of experienced public lands champion we need at the helm of Interior to implement the Biden-Harris conservation and climate plan, expand access to the outdoors, and put people before oil and gas profits,” explained Elisa Batista, campaign director at UltraViolet. “For years, Secretary Deb Haaland has been at the forefront of crafting thoughtful solutions to combating the climate crisis through America’s public lands. After four years of the Trump Administration looting our public lands and wreaking havoc on our climate and environment, Deb Haaland has the experience and drive needed to put us back on the right path.”

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