‘History is being made, yet again’: Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland
Posted: Friday, March 19, 2021
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Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland takes part in a ceremonial swearing-in at the White House complex on March 18, 2021.

“I, Debra Haaland, do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic. That I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same,” said Haaland, a citizen of the Pueblo of Laguna.

The oath of office was administered by Vice President Kamala Harris. She remarked on the historic nature of the event, with Haaland being the first Native person to lead the Department of the Interior and the first Native person in a presidential cabinet.

“History is being made, yet again,” said Harris, who is the first woman and first person of African and South Asian descent to serve as vice president.

“Congratulations,” Harris said in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building.

Haaland was accompanied by several guests. According to the White House, they were:

• Lloyd Keith Sayre – Partner
• Somah Haaland – Daughter
• Zoe Antoinette Magee – Sister
• Denise Kirksey – Sister
• Scott Clark Forrester – Friend
• Julia Alice Jarrard – Friend, Partner of Scott Clark Forrester

The swearing-in took place around 10:50am Eastern on March 18. Somah Haaland held the Bible during the ceremony.

Haaland was confirmed by the U.S. Senate as Secretary of the Interior on March 15. The vote was 51-40 in her favor.

Later that day, President Joe Biden issued the commission of appointment for Haaland. On March 16, she resigned her seat in the U.S. House of Representatives after delivering her final floor speech. She had served New Mexico’s 1st Congressional district since January 2019.

On March 17, Haaland began serving as the 54th Secretary of the Interior. She oversees the federal agency with the most trust and treaty responsibilities in Indian Country.

Video Source: The White House