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Interior Secretary Deb Haaland's mother, a longtime civil servant, dies


U.S. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland’s mother has died. Officials with the Interior Department confirmed longtime civil servant Mary Toya’s passing Saturday but didn’t immediately release her age or cause of death. An Interior spokesperson 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, Deb Haaland, 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.