December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 36

DEB HAALAND
Senate
On March 15, 2021, the U.S.
confirmed Haaland to
her cabinet post in the BidenHarris
administration by a vote
of 51 to 40 - making her the first
Native American cabinet secretary.
She also was one of the first Indigenous
women to serve in Congress.
During her time in the House of
Representatives, she focused on
environmental justice and climate
change, among many other issues.
NRPA and Parks & Recreation
magazine recently connected with
Secretary Haaland to learn more
about her goals as the head of Department
of the Interior; and how
DOI can partner with NRPA to
transcend the national-local divide
to create access to parks and recreation
for all.
Parks & Recreation: In your
opening
statement
during
your February 2021 confirmation
hearing,
you acknowledged
the historic significance
that, if confirmed, you would
be the first appointed Native
American to serve as a cabinet
secretary. Now that you've
been Department of the Interior
(DOI) Secretary for nearly
10 months, what has this experience
meant to you?
Secretary Deb Haaland: When
President
Joe
the
I
Biden
me to be the U.S.
Interior,
felt
have long been underrepresented
and oppressed are at the decisionmaking
table, we can develop
solutions that benefit all of us.
I'm proud to be part of an administration
that recognizes and
trusts that my life experiences can
inform policymaking, in an effort
to correct the mistakes of the past
and help to create a future our ancestors
would be proud of. With
humility and gratitude, part of my
role at the Department is to be a
megaphone for Tribal issues and
bring Indigenous representation to
the highest levels of government.
Native Americans, Alaska Natives
and Native Hawaiians have pushed
for this kind of representation for
hundreds of years.
P&R: How do you see
the DOI supporting and
strengthening a park and
recreation commitment that
transcends " national versus
local " and instead supports
all communities across the
country? What role do you
view the DOI has in building
a movement to support parks
and recreation?
Secretary
nominated
Secretary of
the profound
importance of what that moment
meant for Indigenous peoples in
our country. I knew then, as I still
feel now, that we're at the beginning
of a new era where Indigenous
knowledge in our work to combat
systemic inequities and craft policies
to ensure fairness and a bright
future for everyone is valued and
prioritized. Representation matters.
When people whose communities
36 Parks & Recreation | DECEMBER 2 0 2 1
P&R: Reflecting on your roles
as chair of the Subcommittee
on National Parks, Forests
and Public Lands, vice chair of
the House Natural Resources
Committee and as a member
of Congress, how are you
bringing those experiences
into your work as Secretary?
Secretary Haaland: During
my time in Congress, I learned
the
value of working
to deliver tangible
results
together
for
communities. I took the time to
build meaningful relationships with
both Democratic and Republican
members to seek common ground
on outdoor recreation, the missing
and murdered Indigenous peoples
crisis,
and military
housing
protections - all issues that bridge
partisan
divides. For example,
as chair of the Subcommittee on
National Parks, Forests and Public
Lands, I worked with my colleagues
to shepherd the Great American
Outdoors Act, which provided
guaranteed, full funding for the
Land
and Water
Conservation
Fund (LWCF), to the House floor
for a successful bipartisan vote.
I enjoyed my time in the House
Haaland: We are
committed to ensuring everyone has
access to the great outdoors, and
that every jurisdiction plays a role
in providing those opportunities
to communities. The ORLP
program will play a crucial role in
providing funding to urban areas
- jurisdictions of at least 50,000
people - with priority given to
projects
located
in
economically
disadvantaged areas and lacking in
outdoor recreation opportunities. It
is an example of partners working
together across local, state and
federal jurisdictions to improve and
expand access to outdoor recreation
opportunities for all.
| PARK S ANDRECRE AT ION . OR G
of Representatives. I really learned
the value of lived experiences that
drive people to
positions.
take
leadership
It's why representation
matters so much and why I continue
to push for equity and inclusion
in my current position.
P&R: President Joe Biden
pledged to place racial equity
at the center of everything his
administration does. How are
you centering equity in DOI's
work?
Secretary Haaland: I am proud to
be part of the team here at Interior
that reflects the diversity of America.
Equity and inclusion are infused

December 2021 - Parks & Recreation

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of December 2021 - Parks & Recreation

December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - Intro
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - Cover1
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - Cover2
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 1
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 2
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 3
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 4
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 5
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December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - Cover3
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - Cover4
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/december-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/november-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/october-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/september-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/august-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/july-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/june-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/may-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/april-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/march-2021
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com