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Statement by EarthRights International Executive Director Ka Hsaw Wa

December 17, 2020–Today, President-elect Joe Biden announced the nomination of Representative Deb Haaland of New Mexico as Secretary of the Interior. Haaland would be the first Indigenous person to hold this position. EarthRights International Executive Director Ka Hsaw Wa issued the following statement in response:  “Naming an Indigenous Person to oversee the United States’ oil and mining reserves sends a powerful message to Indigenous Peoples around the world whose lands have been damaged and destroyed by extractive industries. As an Indigenous person, I have seen this destruction first-hand in my native Burma. Rep. Haaland will push oil and mining companies to treat Indigenous People with respect and transparency. Her leadership is even more critical at a time when Indigenous People globally are facing ethnocide from COVID-19 and climate change. We congratulate Rep. Haaland on this achievement.” Contact: Kate Fried, EarthRights International (202) 257.0057