RENO, Nev. (AP) — Sally Jewell made an emotional pledge in her first address to Indian Country as the 51st U.S. Interior secretary, saying she'll help right past wrongs against Native Americans and work with tribes "nation-to-nation" to protect their sovereignty.
Jewell fought back tears and paused to compose herself during remarks Thursday in Reno, Nev., to about 300 delegates of the National Congress of American Indians. The casino-ballroom audience gave her a standing ovation.
The ex-outdoor retail executive from Seattle became secretary in April. She told delegates the U.S. government doesn't have a proud legacy when it comes to upholding promises to native people.
She said she cannot "reverse all of that" in four years, but she is determined to make important progress and help tribes become more economically independent.