Too bad it was for great political gain. I already have e-mails asking, once again, about her support for Native issues.
But I can only comment on her lack of them.
Who's playing the "race" card now? I would expect a candidate that has actually done something for Native people to establish their record of that - but to just throw out the "I'm married to an Eskimo" defense is pretty cheap. After McCain has accused Obama of playing the race card, I would think he would discourage such tactics - silly me.
Fortunately, most of the Alaska Native/American Indian/Native American/First Nations/Indigenous (we have too many dang names!) people that have e-mailed me are out for an informed vote, not a "jump on the 'who can be related to the most minorities'" band wagon. I have actually been pretty proud of the Lower 48 Native population reaction, like this Indian Country article.
It shows the Republican side - ''John McCain has a strong record of working with the tribes, and Gov. Palin will be a strong partner in his mission of reforming Washington.''
This includes the letter she wrote Rural voters in Alaska. Not really impressed with the fact that all her action towards Alaska Native issues during her campaign was focused in a letter, or that the only mentions it can come up with for her support is the same superficial, photo-op-y stuff when it is convenient, such as, "Also of note, the governor proclaimed June 10-13, 2007 as ''National Congress of American Indians Days'' in recognition of a conference held by NCAI in Anchorage."
I would like to know if Sarah, after this cold campaign message that Native langauges should be "treasured" and "held close to our hearts" has ensured her part-Yup'ik children know as much of the Yup'ik langauge as I do - a Tlingit/Athabascan who learned only enough Yup'ik to converse with one-year old children. My guess is pretty bleak on that note - and our languages are in too much trouble to be given only empty words back to win an election.
The article also brushed on subjects of concern to many Native people in Alaska about Palin, including the now-infamous firing of Walt Monegan:
Palin also concerned some Indians in July when she abruptly fired Walt
Monegan, the first Alaska Native public safety commissioner in the state. The
governor said she wanted to take the Department of Public Safety in a different
direction, but a Republican rival said Monegan was fired because he refused to
take action against state trooper Mike Wooten, who was recently divorced from
Palin's younger sister.
Really, the idea that Monegan was someone who was finally really addressing the issues in Rural Alaska with extremely high rates of abuse, violence, child neglect, and that he was let go for such petty reasons is the bigger concern.Holly Miowak Stebing, the Inupiaq woman chosen to meet Obama last week at the convention, was interviewd in this RezNet article (Go Holly! She is pictured above in the picture from Celtic Diva's blog) The NCAI director was encouraged about the ticket because Palin has (getting a little dejavu in here) attended their events and notes "that her husband has Native ties" and that will help.
Seriously, if I here one more silly defense like that...
Former (Inupiaq) Alaska state representative and Holly did a good job stating reasons to be concerned about a supposed benefit for Native people if Palin were elected:
Degnan also criticized Palin for failing to allow Native Alaskan
representation on the Alaska Coastal Management Program — an
organization that protects the state's coasts.
Republican Party officials did not return phone calls and e-mails.
While she understands Sarah Palin has only served as governor
for two years, Stebing is disappointed she hasn't done more to improve the lives
of Native Alaskans, many of whom live in remote, poverty-stricken areas. They
are places where some are so poor they lack running water and sewage and must
carry out their human waste in large pails called "honey buckets."
Stebing hopes whoever wins in November will address the dire
needs of rural Alaskan Natives.
"That we have that here in
Alaska really bothers me," she said. "This is the 21st century."
I have been getting some e-mails that are asking me to address some issues that I already have -please see my previous posts from this month and late August about Palin and Native issues as well.
I can address a few though:
Bridge to Nowhere - this one is actually been done in the mainstream- that Palin was for it until she saw how unpopular it was becoming - but there are a few notes here. Including that she still built a "road to nowhere" after the project failed, and kept the federal money left over.
I was asked more about this - if it really was a "bridge to nowhere."
The name of it was a great ploy on the part of the dissenters. It was actually a bridge to the airport in Ketchikan. Having been in and out of Ketchikan many times in my life, the bridge would have been nice, yes. The transportation situation in Alaska isn't well understood by many except Alaskans, and getting from Anchorage to Ketchikan is a bit of an all-day endeavor (I would visit my relatives much more often if this wasn't the case.) I've heard many stories about someone who has missed the ferry and so missed their flight, waiting in sight of the plane taking off.
Was a bridge totally neccessary? That's for people with a much stronger grasp of fiscal spending to go over and over. I know there have been much more frivolous spending on much less practical items. As someone who frequents the airport and Ketchikan - yeah, it would have been nice to do without the ferry any time you want to visit Ketchikan. Please keep in mind that the ONLY way to get to Ketchikan - besides a boat - is the airport and ferry. There is no road connection to anywhere, the case for much of Alaska. But then, it's an inconvenience, not a life and death sort of thing. Not that that's where the money went instead...