FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — Deb Haaland stood with fellow tribal members protesting an oil pipeline outside a reservation in North Dakota, advocated for protecting cultural landmarks in her home state of New Mexico and pointedly told government witnesses in a hearing about blasting sacred Native American sites near the U.S.-Mexico border: “I don't know how you can sleep at night.”

Native Americans have reason to believe the two-term U.S. congresswoman will push forward on long-simmering issues in Indian Country if she's confirmed as secretary of the Interior Department, which has broad oversight of tribal affairs and energy development. Unlike most people who have held the job, she won't need to be schooled on the history of Native Americans or tribal sovereignty. She already knows.

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