Interior Secretary Deb Haaland to speak at U-M on March 26


Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland will speak on the climate crisis and environmental justice at Rackham Auditorium on March 26.

The talk will address the growing life-threatening impacts of the climate crisis and what the Biden-Harris administration is implementing to address this urgent situation.

A photo of Deb Haaland
Deb Haaland

A livestream of the event will be available for anyone to watch online. Free public tickets to attend the event in person currently are sold out. If more in-person tickets become available, it will be noted on the School for Environment and Sustainability’s website.

Vital to the administration’s mission is the Department of the Interior’s collaborative, on-the-ground efforts that bring local communities, Indigenous knowledge and young people to the decision-making table.

Through Haaland’s leadership, the department is centering environmental justice and empowering communities with the tools and resources they need to protect the planet for current and future generations.

Haaland, who is a member of the Pueblo of Laguna and a 35th-generation New Mexican, is the first Native American to serve as a cabinet secretary and was one of the first Native American women to serve in Congress. Her upbringing and career have always focused on public service and opening doors of opportunity for future generations.

Raised in a military family, her father was a Marine and her mother was a Navy veteran who served as a federal employee at the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

As a single mother who relied on food stamps, Haaland lived paycheck-to-paycheck and struggled to pay her way through college. At 28, she enrolled at the University of New Mexico and earned a bachelor’s degree in English. She went on to earn her Juris Doctor degree from the UNM School of Law.

When her child was a toddler, and while she attended law school, Haaland ran a small salsa business called Pueblo Salsa. She later served as a tribal administrator at San Felipe Pueblo and was the first woman elected to the Laguna Development Corp. board of directors.

In that role, she oversaw business operations of the second-largest tribal gaming enterprise in New Mexico and successfully advocated for policies and commitments to more environmentally friendly business practices.

Entry to the event will require a digital or paper version of a ticket and photo identification. No bags or purses will be allowed.

The talk is presented by SEAS and Democracy & Debate, in partnership with the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, LSA, Native American Studies Program, Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and Rackham Graduate School.


Leave a comment

Please read our comment guidelines.