Rep. Deb Haaland Calls Rep. Gaetz’s Comments “Offensive and Hurtful”

Rep. Deb Haaland wore traditional regalia to swearing in ceremony into Congress

Published January 7, 2019

WASHINGTON — Rep. Deb Haaland (D-N.M.), who is a tribal citizen of the Laguna Pueblo, took little time to to show she will fight against ignorance during her first week in office. She is one of the first two American Indian women sworn into Congress.

She called out Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz’s comments calling Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass,) “Sacagawea” “offensive and hurtful.”

Sacagawea was the Lemhi Shoshone woman who helped the Lewis and Clark expedition.

“Sacagawea made great sacrifices that changed American history,” Haaland says. “When anyone speaks her name, it should be with great respect.”

Gaetz made his remark about Warren on a Fox News segment on Friday concerning Sen. Warren’s then upcoming trip to Iowa this past weekend.

“I know the president likes to call her ‘Pocahontas,’ but now that she’s making her way from the eastern seaboard into the center of the country, maybe Sacagawea would be more appropriate,” Gaetz said. “Instead of bringing Lewis and Clark, she is bringing the most liberal policies of the Democratic Party.”

Rep. Haaland understands the importance to educate non-Native people about American Indian culture.

“I invite him to meet [with] me so I can share how such comments are a continuing assault on indigenous people,” Haaland said about the possiblitiy of educating Gaetz about his comment.

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