Read a PDF of our statement here.

Today, the United States Senate confirmed Rep. Deb Haaland as Secretary of the U.S. Department of Interior (DOI), the agency responsible for protecting the nation’s natural resources and public lands, honoring its commitment to tribal nations, and advocating for America’s island communities. Secretary Haaland is the first Native American to serve in a Cabinet position. In response, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational and Fund, Inc. (LDF) President and Director-Counsel Sherrilyn Ifill issued the following statement:

“LDF extends its congratulations to Secretary Haaland on her historic appointment to oversee the Department of Interior – a vital agency responsible for overseeing the protection of our natural resources and public lands, and with a key role in combating climate change and in guiding the U.S. government’s relations with Native American tribes. As the first Native American to serve in any Cabinet position in U.S. history, her confirmation to lead the DOI is an especially profound and long-overdue milestone – one that will establish more respectful and supportive relationships with indigenous communities that have long suffered from the harmful DOI policies of the past.”


Founded in 1940, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) is the nation’s first civil and human rights law organization. LDF has been completely separate from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) since 1957—although LDF was originally founded by the NAACP and shares its commitment to equal rights. LDF’s Thurgood Marshall Institute is a multi-disciplinary and collaborative hub within LDF that launches targeted campaigns and undertakes innovative research to shape the civil rights narrative. In media attributions, please refer to us as the NAACP Legal Defense Fund or LDF.

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