Deb Haaland, one of the first Native American women elected to Congress, has become a powerful voice for US public lands

While she was campaigning for a seat in the US Congress last year, Deb Haaland went camping for four days. It was less a surprisingly timed vacation and more a return home.

Her destination was notable: Utah’s Bears Ears national monument, which Donald Trump controversially downsized in 2017 as part of a bid to encourage resource extraction. She wanted to experience “a living landscape” where the art and artifacts of her people, the indigenous Pueblo, are still abundant. She spent the trip hiking in and out of steep canyons and marveled at the area’s famed Moon House, a cliff dwelling and storage facility that dates back 800 years.

Related: ‘They’re playing dirty’: Can Navajos win power after racial exclusion?

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