U.S. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland’s mother, longtime civil servant Mary Toya, has died. Officials with the Interior Department confirmed Toya’s passing Saturday but didn’t immediately release her age or cause of death. Interior spokeswoman Melissa Schwartz said in a statement the department is celebrating Toya’s long life and is grateful for her “25 years of service to Native students as a member of the Interior team within Indian Affairs.” Toya also was a U.S. Navy veteran. Her daughter became the first Native American to serve as a cabinet secretary when she took office in March. Haaland is a member of the Pueblo of Laguna and a 35th generation New Mexican.
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