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Native American Lynn Trujillo Named Top Policy Adviser to DOI


New Mexico Indian Affairs Secretary Lynn Trujillo ERIC WILLIAMS PHOTOGRAPHY

The US Department of the Interior Secretary, Deb Haaland, has appointed Lynn Trujillo, a Native American attorney and former head of New Mexico's Indian Affairs Department, as her senior counselor. Trujillo is a member of Sandia Pueblo and has connections with Acoma and Taos pueblos. Haaland, who is also Native American, is the first Native American to serve as a US Cabinet Secretary.


During her time as a state Cabinet secretary for Democratic New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, Trujillo acted as a vital liaison with Native American communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. She implemented initiatives that provided additional funding for local school districts on Native American lands held in trust by the federal government where property taxes cannot be levied. Trujillo also advocated for justice for missing and murdered Indigenous people and authorized tribal cannabis programs to promote economic development in Native American communities. Last year, New Mexico legalized recreational cannabis sales, despite concerns about conflicts with federal prohibition.

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