I read a fun opinion piece from the Tundra Drums today by Harley Sundown. He was imagining a Yup'ik like himself being president, and what would his cabinet look like. Many not from Alaska, or not involved in Alaska Native culture and/or politics won't recognize many of the names he uses, but trust me - he's actually done a pretty good job! Including:
Walt Monegan as Secretary of Homeland Security
Many of you will recognize him for his more recent claim to fame - the former Alaska top cop fired by Palin, the spark that lit the "Troopergate" findings. But his inclusion here indicates something Alaskans and Alaska Native people knew long before - he's a great guy and great at his job. Although he is included in this as a Yup'ik, we Tlingits get to claim credit for him too!
Byron Mallot for Chairman of the Federal Reserve
I'm behind just about anything Byron Mallott does, he's smart, active, and done just about every job known to man. Everything he does turns golden because he's a great guy to have in charge - shall we give him a go at AIG and the Big Three?
Anyone from the Demmert family in Southeast as Secretary of Education
He he... won't tell you why this is totally true, or so funny to me.
Dr. Walter Soboleff as Spiritual Advsior
A really great person, Alaskan, and Alaska Native - someone who's done a lot in his long life - he just turned 100 and was honored at the Alaska Federation of Native Convention this year. And did I mention a great TLINGIT?
I know, I know, my highlights are heavy on the Tlingit people - but these are people I've heard about or known my whole life, and it was great to hear them mentioned for a presidential cabinet - albeit a fictitious and highly unlikely cabinet.
A few others in this fun, all Alaskan cabinet I would add:
Rosita Worl as Chairman for the National Endowment for the Arts
As head of the Sealaska Heritage Institute, she'd led the way to a lot of extraordinary arts initiatives aimed at promoting Tlingit (and Southeast Alaska Native) culture through arts. She's been involved in a lot of things, not the least of them encouraging Native languages, but I think she would really shine with this. She sees art as not just pretty stuff to look at, but a link to our culture and a powerful way to stay connected.
Marlene Johnson as Chief of Staff
She'd get that place in shape! Yet another with a long list of accomplishments, I know for a fact she'd get some serious issues worked on, and accomplished, and beware those that stand in the way!
Fran Ulmer as Vice President
She's not Native, but as former Lt. Governor for Alaska, she has a unique view of energy and what that means. She is currently chancellor for the University of Alaska, former mayor of Juneau, former state house minority leader, AND she totally knows what the Bush Doctrine is. If that's not enough to get her elected, I don't know what is!
Okay, my fun is over - but I'd like to know some of YOUR cabinet picks!