Deb Haaland ran in the Boston Marathon this year. The 125th Boston Marathon, to be exact. The race was run on Indigenous People’s Day. Deb Haaland didn’t race in the hopes of winning; she raced to remember Indigenous People’s Day, and to honor those who came before her.
Running the Boston Marathon to remember Indigenous Peoples’ Day (by Deb Haaland in the Boston Globe)
My feet will pound the ancestral homelands of the Massachusett, the Mashpee Wampanoag, and the Pawtucket people and will follow in the footsteps of Indigenous runners who have participated in this race over its 125-year history.
Indigenous Peoples’ Day is also a day when we remember the sacrifices of our ancestors and their survival during the dark eras of colonization and assimilation — eras in which Native Americans suffered atrocities that manifest themselves in health disparities, lack of basic infrastructure, the missing and murdered Indigenous peoples’ crisis, and so much more.
On this special day, I will run for missing and murdered Indigenous peoples and their families, the victims of Indian boarding schools, and the promise that our voices are being heard and will have a part in an equitable and just future in this new era.
I will run for Tom Longboat, Tarzan Brown, and Patti Dillon because they paved a path for me. It’s a path that has led me to serve in the Biden-Harris administration as the first Native American cabinet secretary in US history. This administration made a commitment to honor our country’s promises to Indigenous communities.
At the Interior Department, we contribute to the Biden administration’s work to build back better through our work centering Indigenous traditional knowledge in our climate policies; through our Missing and Murdered Indigenous Peoples unit and implementation of the Not Invisible Act; through our Federal Indian Boarding School Initiative to help communities heal from longstanding intergenerational trauma; and by restoring tribal homelands.
Deb Haaland is an inspiration.
We can’t all be Deb Haaland, or Stacey Abrams, but we all have a part to play, if we are willing to do it.
Can we use this thread to celebrate all the women who are making such a big difference in this fight to save our nation from white supremacism and authoritarianism?