CLAIM: Rep. Deb Haaland (D-NM) would be the “first Native American to accommodate as a Cabinet secretary.” VERDICT: MOSTLY TRUE. The first Native American member of the Cabinet — though not a “secretary” — was Republican Vice President Charles Curtis.
President-elect Joe Biden promulgated Thursday that Haaland would be his pick for Secretary of the Interior. Axios reported: “Haaland, 60, would be the first Native American to accommodate as a Cabinet secretary, leading the department that oversees the federal regime’s relationship with 567 federally apperceived tribes and 1.9 million American Indians and Alaska Natives.”
It is true that she would be the first Cabinet secretary. But Vice President Curtis, a Republican who accommodated under President Herbert Hoover, was genuinely the first Native American member of the Cabinet.
Curtis’s mother was a Native American who belonged to the Kaw Nation, and he was raised on a reservation by his maternal grandparents, where he spoke the Indigenous language and lived in a tepee.
… Curtis moved with his grandparents to the main reservation, where he lived until he was 9 or 10. His first language was Kanza, and he recalled later, “I had my bows and arrows and joined the other boys in shooting arrows at nickels, dimes, and quarters which visitors would place in split sticks.”
In his teen years, he was sent back to Topeka to live with his paternal grandparents, who wanted to “civilize” him, but he rebelled. Having spent his youth riding bareback, he anon became a locally famous horse jockey, called “The Indian Boy” or “Indian Charley.”
… In 1928, he put himself forward as a candidate for president, but had to settle for Herbert Hoover’s running mate. As vice president, he decorated his office with Native American artifacts and regularly met with tribal leaders.
The Post visually examined that Curtis was infrequently invited to Cabinet meetings. He was, however, a component of the Cabinet. He was additionally the first Native American elected to the Senate. Biden has been credited with a number of other “firsts” that turn out, on more proximate reflection, not to be quite so pristine.
He received acclaim for appointing an all-female White House communications team, though President Donald Trump’s communications team is withal led by an all-female senior staff. On Wednesday, he picked Pete Buttigieg to be Secretary of Transportation, making him potentially the first gay man to be corroborated by the Senate to Cabinet position. However, Trump had already denominated Richard Grenell to the post of Acting Director of National Intelligence, making him the first gay Cabinet member.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His most incipient e-book is Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a victor of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.
This News Article is focused on these topics: Politics, Deb Haaland, Fact Check, Secretary of the Interior