When McBride left the position last October, she let it be known that an Alaska Native person should have the position. Palin filled the position this month - I don't know much about the new rural advisor, but he was a big fisheries manager and the Daily News said he "describes himself" as Alaska Native - Aleut. Kind of wierd wording, but whatever. Hopefully, he'll do a job...
From the article:
My defining moment came last summer while on a boat trip down the Koyukuk. One of my fellow travelers, who is an Alaska Native, asked me if I had ever cut fish. And I said, "No. When I lived in Bethel, people always shared their fish with me. They were so kind and generous. So I never learned to put up fish." She laughed and said, "Imagine that. A rural adviser who doesn't know how to subsist." The remark wasn't meant to be unkind, but the power of it was a turning point for me.
Also, in the course the job, I came to meet many Natives who were more qualified than me for the job. Not only do they know how to subsist, but they have degrees from Ivy League schools. There is a generation of leaders coming up that will make whatever organization they join better. Our world will be better for them. They're strong in their culture, wise beyond their years, and so knowledgeable about their professions.