When she wore her traditional Pueblo dress the day she was sworn in.
It was exciting for both New Mexico and the whole country to finally have two Native American women sworn into Congress. And as if having a Native woman representing us wasn’t enough, Deb Haaland wore traditional Laguna Pueblo dress for the ceremony. On top of that, she also wore silver and turquoise jewelry. What a great way to celebrate her victory.
When she educated people about Native customs.
Speaking of her jewelry, Deb also used it as an opportunity to educate non-Natives. In an article for Glamour magazine, she spoke about how Native people used to know what tribe a person was from by the jewelry they wore, pointing out there were different styles among different tribes.
When she saved her seat at the State of the Union address with a Pendleton blanket.
And jewelry was only the beginning. Placing a Pendleton blanket on her seat to save it was more than a way of holding it. It reminded us that Deb brings a whole new way of doing things to Washington, D.C., a way informed by her own culture. And she’s not afraid to carry that culture with her into the halls of Congress.
Deb Haaland was elected for many qualities, but one that makes New Mexicans most excited about having her in Congress is her devotion to being who she is and speaking with the voice that her culture and her experience has given her. Her understanding of the needs of her state and of Native people brings a new dimension to the discussions of policy and funding. As an advocate for Native youth, for artists and for all of New Mexico, she’s making sure everyone knows both the needs and the wonders of our state. Here’s to many, many more ways we’ll find to love her!