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Rep. Deb Haaland. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Native Americans are pushing Biden to select Rep. Deb Haaland as Interior secretary, arguing the New Mexican would add unique and necessary perspective to the Cabinet agency as a woman from their community.

Why it matters: The Biden transition team is fielding incoming from every constituency on every Cabinet pick, and as the number of remaining seats is fewer, the lobbying is becoming more intense.

Members from the transition are scheduled to meet Thursday with tribal leaders and organizers. Those leaders are increasingly bent on adding pressure to ensure Haaland, a Native American, gets picked.

  • A source familiar with the meeting told McCammond some in Bidenworld want to reassure these advocates they're being taken seriously, particularly after some anonymous criticism of Haaland in a recent New York Times story.

Why it matters: It's not just about identity politics. The Department of the Interior oversees millions of acres of land, including Native reservations, and would be responsible, in large part, for the country's nearly 2 million Indigenous people.

Go deeper

A reckoning on housing for Native Americans

Data: Census Bureau; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

It's taken the coronavirus pandemic to highlight the dismal housing that many Native Americans and Alaska Natives are forced to call home: dilapidated, overcrowded structures without electricity or indoor plumbing.

Why it matters: Native Americans on reservations have lived for decades under these dire conditions. The difficulty in building or even improving homes is traced to federal policies on reservation land and limited access to capital for Indigenous families.

Updated 2 hours ago - World

Reports: Up to 17 U.S. missionaries kidnapped in Haiti

Haitian soldiers guard the public prosecutor's office in Port-au-Prince earlier this month. Photo: Richard Pierrin/AFP via Getty Images

Children were among up to 17 American Christian missionaries and their relatives kidnapped by a gang in Haiti on Saturday, the New York Times first reported.

Details: The missionaries had just left an orphanage and were traveling by bus to the airport to "drop off some members" and were due to travel to another destination when the gang struck in Port-au-Prince, Haitian security officials said, per the NYT.

3 hours ago - World

Melbourne, "world's most locked-down city," to lift stay-at-home orders

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews during a news conference in Melbourne, Australia, on Sunday. Photo: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

Melbourne's stay-at-home orders will end five days earlier than planned, officials in Australia's second-biggest city announced Sunday.

Why it matters: The capital of the state of Victoria has had six lockdowns totaling 262 days since March last year. That means Melbourne spent longer under lockdown than "any other city in the world" during the pandemic, Reuters notes.

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