"Violence against Indigenous peoples is a crisis that has been underfunded for decades," Interior Secretary Deb Haaland said while announcing the creation of a new unit designed to help solve murders and missing persons cases among American Indians and Alaska Natives.
Tribal leaders hope her confirmation may help make Native American issues more prominent in the national agenda.
"I have decided to support this nomination today, to support the first Native American to hold this position," Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska said on Thursday.
The New Mexico congresswoman seems likely to become the new head of the Interior Department after Sen. Joe Manchin said he plans to vote for her confirmation.
The interior secretary nominee maintained that "we should diversify our funding streams for education, and not just rely on one," during Wednesday's confirmation hearing.
"I believe Deb Haaland will be a secretary of the interior for every American and will vote to confirm her," the Democratic senator said.
Six Native Americans won their congressional races on Tuesday, including two candidates in New Mexico.
In the short version of the controversial video, dozens of teenagers wearing MAGA hats appeared to be mocking, taunting and yelling at Omaha elder Nathan Phillips.
Voters elected the country's first Muslim and Native American women to Congress, in addition to a number of other firsts.
A New Mexico Republican candidate placed doubt on Democratic opponent's Native American heritage, suggesting a genuine Laguna Pueblo tribe member would not support "open borders."
The movement to abolish ICE is gaining traction in New Mexico's first congressional district, where one of two candidates who support the cause is likely to win Tuesday's primaries.