Reviewed by Debbie Reese
In children’s literature, we talk about the importance of representation. Seeing someone who looks like you is powerfully affirming. In 2016, I experienced that affirmation. Deb Haaland was at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. I shared my joy on Twitter:
And in 2018 when she and Sharice Davids won seats to be in the US Congress, I hoped that we’d see children’s books about them. Davids did a biographical picture book last year, which I highly recommend. Now, we’ve got one about Haaland, and I am happy to say that I highly recommend it!
The biography of Haaland is written by Dr. Jill Doerfler (White Earth Anishinaabe) and Dr. Matthew J. Martinez (Ohkay Owingeh). It opens on March 18, 2021, with Haaland entering the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington, DC, to be sworn in as the 45th US Secretary of the Interior. There’s a photo of that moment. And there’s description of what she was wearing (a ribbon skirt) and why. There’s information about who made the skirt — Agnes Woodward, who is Plains Cree from the Kawacatoose First Nation in Saskatchewan, Canada. Doerfler and Martinez take care to tell us about the symbolism of that skirt. Continue reading.
Deb Haaland by Matthew J. Martinez, Jill Doerfler
Published by Lerner Publishing Group on 2022-08
Genres: Women, American Indians First Nations Metis Inuit
Reading Level: Grades 3-5, Grades 6-8
Review Source: American Indians in Children's Literature
Publisher's Synopsis: In 2021, Deb Haaland made history as the first Indigenous cabinet secretary. Serving as Secretary of the Interior, Haaland has championed climate and the rights of Native peoples. Discover Haaland's early life, her political career, and more.