President-elect Joe Biden on Thursday nominated Democratic U.S. Rep. Deb Haaland of New Mexico to become secretary of the Interior Department after weeks of rumors and speculation — a choice that shatters a historic cultural barrier in the upper echelons of the White House.

Haaland, 60, would be the first Native American not only to head the department that oversees tribal lands and services, but also to become a U.S. Cabinet secretary.

Environmental advocates were quick to laud Biden’s pick, predicting Haaland would pivot sharply from President Donald Trump’s fossil fuel-friendly policies within the Interior Department to those that promote renewable energy, combat climate change and protect ecosystems.

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