Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, the nation’s first Native American Cabinet official, tearfully described the White House grounds Friday as “the ancestral homelands” of two Native American tribes.
During an event with President Biden on the North Lawn of the White House, Ms. Haaland became choked up as she praised the president’s action to restore territory of two sprawling western national monuments that had been reduced in size by then-President Trump.
“We are here today on the ancestral homelands of the Anacostan and Piscataway people, bending the arc of the moral universe toward justice,” Ms. Haaland said.
She thanked Mr. Biden “for the profound action you’re taking today to permanently protect the homelands of our ancestors, our songs, our languages, our cultures.”
Mr. Biden took executive action to restore the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments in Utah, which were downsized significantly under Mr. Trump. He also restored the size of a marine conservation area off the shores of New England.