Native Americans Against Palin: Another Alaskan Native Speaks Out

More and more Native Alaskans are coming forward to tell about their direct experiences with Gov. Palin and her lack of regard for them.  Here is a letter I received today that speaks for itself…

An Alaska Native’s take on his Governor
By Matt Gilbert

Hello. My name is Matt Gilbert. I am originally from Arctic Village, Alaska. I am Alaska Native: Gwich’in Athabascan. I visited Sarah’s campaign office and spoke with her before she became Governor. We talked about the hunting & fishing rights of Alaska Natives. We didn’t get anywhere. She sided with sport & commercial interests, so I never spoke with her again. I knew we’d get no where. She didn’t want to listen. In general, I believe Sarah Palin is another version of Bush, just as inexperienced, but more impulsive. She is very dangerous and scary. People are continuing to support her because she’s beautiful, and this should be a Red Alert for the world. Her purposed policies is to include Georgia into NATO and that would mean all the European countries with all their armed forces will have to go to war with Russia. So she’s willing to ruffle the feathers of a country right next door to her home. Is this who you want as President? You know the scene in the movies when a car or stage coach is about to go over a cliff and you see yourself sliding over? Scary image isn’t it? That’s’ what I’m seeing if Palin gets elected Vice President. Wake up America! Send her back to Alaska. She has plenty of un-finished work here. She hasn’t even gotten funding to move the town of Shishmeraf. It’s falling into the ocean from an eroding coast due to Global Warming, which she wants to fuel more by encouraging more coal and oil development. She fuels the fire, and now they want her to do it on a national level.

Palin has done a lot of irrational things up here as Governor. In the summer of 07’, she Line Item Vetoed a lot of infrastructure projects in rural Alaska. The small town of Eagle spent years trying to get a community center built when they finally got funding, Palin shut it down by her Veto. Even Lawmakers are baffled by her Vetoes. They’ve had Bills well-debated on both sides of the aisle, yet she cuts, cuts, cuts. She supported $15 million to Anchorage’s University’s Sport Complex and cut $1.5 million to an expansion of the runaway teen center. How do you justify that? She supports drilling Off-Shore which would utterly destroy the livelihood of the Inupiaq people on the North Slope. They rely on Whale for subsistence and the development would detrimentally impact those whales. She supports drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. My people, the Gwich’in have kept this area closed from development for 30 years. No other American Indian tribe has ever accomplished such a feat. If she drills in the Arctic Refuge, it’ll be the end of my culture. We rely on the Porcupine Caribou Herd and if drilling takes place in the Arctic Refuge, our caribou goes and so does our culture. We Gwich’in Athabascans are the last American Indian Tribe in the US that hasn’t been majorly disturbed, heavily impacted, and assimilated. We are the last pure Native American tribe left. We are the last stand for Indian Country. We are the last chapter in American Indian/Anglo American relations. The prior chapters were bad, so make this last chapter a good one and vote for Obama.

Alaska Natives in general are the last group of Native Americans in the United States still depended on a hunting & fishing-based lifestyle where kids and grown-ups go out to fish and hunt to supplement their western diets. It’s crucial we have food off our land because the western foods, processed foods, give us diabetes if we eat them alone. The subsistence foods not only feed our bodies, but our culture, spirit, social lives, and minds. The Western World calls it Subsistence, but we call it our Way of Life. I’m using the word against my well. It gives our lives meaning and keeps us busy. With God’s help, hopefully everyone can understand. Our way of life off the land is everything to us. If we don’t have that we’re nobody, just another group living off the grid, consuming McDonalds, and buying Brand-Named items. We add diversity and richness to the world. Sarah Palin doesn’t care about this. She wouldn’t care if our culture eroded before her eyes. She’s like Nero, sitting in Juneau putting on lip-gloss as Alaskan villages suffer. We’re suffering from fuel costs. We’re suffering from strangulating Fish & wildlife regulations that keep us from surviving off the already scarce wildlife. She has done some things, but not enough. She can ease the Fish & wildlife regulations in order to improve food security in the villages. She can subsidize the villages with the rising fuel costs. The US Government has a Trust Responsibility with its First Americans, the TR requires the Federal/State Governments to ensure we, Alaska Natives, have everything we need to survive. Mrs. Palin has failed miserably at this task. She has a lot more work to do back home.

Her hometown Wasillia has been a hot-bed for racist and Anti-Native attitudes. Anchorage is bad too. Alaska Natives fight discrimination on a daily basis there. Palin isn’t there for them. I read in the Anchorage papers once that a homeless native man froze to death in downtown and some man called it in sounding all casual about it. It’s like the South before the 60s up here. It’s bad. This is the Alaska Sarah Palin maintains and waters for growth. She’s never bothered to change anything because she thinks nothing is broken. As Mayor, she didn’t think anything was wrong with an atmosphere where a native woman had beer bottles thrown at her as she walked down Wasillia. So you have to ask yourself, if she’s willing to ignore the plights and issues of an ethnic group within her town and state, than how much more horrible do you think it’s going to be when she ignores the issues of that same ethnic group or another on a national level?

I believe her popularity comes from her beauty. This society has got to shift itself away from a National Inquirer-based lifestyle to an NPR or New York Times-based lifestyle. Our very world may depend on it. Our hurricanes and disasters are getting worse due to Global Warming, our Stock Market is dangerously shaky, our healthcare is getting so bad it may cause a revolution soon, and the War in Iraq is draining our resources and working families to depression-levels. We need a Change! We need Barack Obama. Not somebody whose reputation is based mainly on image and charm. As an Alaska Native, I see that she doesn’t support our way of life, as a Gwich’in I see that she is willing to end my culture and people for only six more months of oil, and as a Global citizen I see that she is impulsive and inexperienced. Do you want someone like that in charge of a nuclear arsenal? It’s probably already going to take our lifetimes to recover from Bush, if you elect Palin, the consequence are too scary for me to even think about. Please vote for change. Vote for Obama. Vote for Obama.

10 responses to “Native Americans Against Palin: Another Alaskan Native Speaks Out

  1. Thank you for sharing these opinions. They reveal the true nature of Palin and her politics – something that seems to be very hard to find in the regular media. Let us hope McCain/Palin does not get elected.

  2. Please consider cross-posting at Native American Netroots.

    We’d love to have you contribute there.

  3. You might be interested in this post:

    Biden Vs. Palin on Indigenous Issues

  4. Thanks for posting more truth about Palin – she’s a mess and totally unfit for running the country – those that choose to look closely can see the true ugly and ignorance behind the mask and once she opens her beak to speak – the pretty goes away rather quickly – not mentioning that she doesn’t even know what the heck she’s even supposed to be talking about – don’t get me started on the ugly nasal tone or what she’s allowing to happen with the wolves up there…don’t get me started…ugh…if you can’t tell who I’ll be voting for – it’s definitely Obama. I find it a real crying shame that your people have to deal with that brand of ugliness up there in Alaska – you’d think as a global society, people would have grown beyond racism…it’s ugly and unneccessary. hold your heads high with pride and please know that not everyone is like that or believes in treating others that way…definitely cross post – more people need to read your words…and make sure that you get out and make your vote count in November!

  5. Thanks for this post. It is extremely scary to think that if the McCain/Palin ticket wins, this woman will be only a heartbeat away from being president. Even scarier is the fact that McCain’s age and his history of melanoma means he probably will not last for four years. This woman could bring our nation to its knees. She is worse than George Bush! If this doesn’t make you want to get out and start campaigning for Obama/Biden, I don’t know what it would take.

  6. I am even more informed by these wise words and thank you for your post. As an American of Arab ethnicity, I have always been touched by (and related to) the plight of the Native tribes that live in the Americas. I now have ammunition to use in defending my stand against this woman that is obviously driven and committed to fight, no matter the cost. It seems to me that being able to veto legislation because it doesn’t suit personal interests is no way to legislate or administer a country, much less a state or a town. Your people, your tribes, have lost so much already that a vote for this ticket will most certainly spell the end of an era in the wilderness of Alaska, and herald the beginning of further destruction of our mother earth.

    I always joke about moving north should things go south, but in reality my fear is that there might not be a North to move to if our global environmental crisis (compounded by our economic crisis) continues. A vote for McCain/Palin will certainly expedite that potential reality.

    Thank you.

  7. Sarah Palin is a TOTAL disaster, but sex sells, especially to stupid rednecks. I wrote her off when I heard that “task from God ” foolishness re the Iraq fustercluck. I’ve always thought that there was something wrong w/Alaska—the 1st thing I think about when I think of Alaska is/are Eskimos (forgive me, Native folks, but I’m not too hip to all of the tribal names)–BUT WHY IN HELL ARE/WERE NO ESKIMO GOVERNORS??


  9. As an Alaskan Indian (Ahtna Dene) (anthropologists call “Athabascan/Athapaskan), I am not shocked that a person like Sarah Palin could be become governor in my home state. All Alaskan governors have come from the “Outside” – and definitely in ALL the meaning of that word. Our civil and human rights as Indigenous peoples in the land of the “free” and the home of the “brave” have ALWAYS been on the top of our list of grievances against the american system that has never been fulfilled – whether through lower 48 Treaties or the Alaska Native Land Claims Act that basically set up the corporate system for Alaska Natives as just another way to steal our land and attempt to assimilate our peoples here. As human nature goes, we ALWAYS have the sell-outs among us and ANCSA was facilitated by those very sell-out Natives among us. Todd Palin, as long and hard as I worked for tribal sovereignty and Indian Child Welfare, subsistence rights and all the injustices our Native peoples suffered, do suffer from here in Alaska, Todd Palin, I repeat, was an unknown in this arena. NEVER ONCE was his name a mention in all our battles for the rights we fought for. Not even as a sell-out was he known. He simply was/is another “white man”. You know. Take, Take, Take, and then denigrate those taken from – i.e., OUR LAND, OUR CULTURES, OUR LIVES – THE ALASKA NATIVES . Our people who think otherwise are in for the rudest awakening of all. For all of us voting these people in will be the worst thing that has happened to us in modern memory. The list of that otherwise, is too long and STILL too painful to reiterate here and we who have the awarenesses of our history from our elders know that it only gets worse as we go. The fact that “american” Indians STILL live on “reservations” says it all to me. (Where do you think Hitler got the idea for his death camps?) Yeah, look that up.

    If Native Alaskans want to continue to live in third world conditions and worse in this big supposed land of plenty – if Native Alaskans and ALL NATIVE PEOPLES ON THIS CONTINENT want to continue to possess the worst statistics on every ill known to mankind – then go ahead and vote for McCain and the sociopathic Palin. But you will forever have tainted and worsened the lives of ALL OUR INDIGENOUS PEOPLE HERE! I will despise you who bring MORE oppression into our already tyrannized lives here. You read me? Despise you.

    The Indian Way, from time immemorial, has been to care and share and help ALL “THE PEOPLE”. We who know the real ways of our peoples, do not accept the american way of rugged “INDIVIDUALISM”. It is the root & core of the coldness, detached-ness and complete selfishness of american society – me, me, me, was NEVER OUR WAY. If you think so, then you have lost your Native culture and all the beautiful way of our collective identity.

    I’m very angry at what is happening to us in 21st century. We may never recover if we accept what is being thrown before us now in the way of rebuilding our nations as Indigenous peoples.

    I can say volumes more. This is already too long for this little box.

    The Palins will never be

  10. As an Alaskan Native and registered voter, I was greatly disappointed when S. Palin got into office but I figured that it was better than Murkowski, the previous gov. I gave Palin the benefit of the doubt but as each day wore on, the sinking feeling of reality slowly consumed any positive feeling I tried to maintain. She has proved herself to be openly vindictive, haughty, selfish and overtly ambitious. Shooting wolves from airplanes broke my heart (strange how the proposition was written on the ballot, many thought they were voting to put an end to it, despite the previous elections where we wanted to end it), trying to open ANWR (continuing the rape and pillage of AK), promising to reinstate the longevity bonus back to the elderly (who need it the most) and then not doing squat about it. She knows how to appear interested and available but in all reality, she has her own agenda and knows how to step on those who do not go along with it. Although married to a p/t native, they have ‘sold out’ a long time ago. How many other Alaskan families can you think of that are worth $9M??? joe-6-pack?? hockey moms?? Sorry Sarah, I knew when McCain picked you up, the backlash is going to be dessert for me once you get back after 11/04/08.
    PS… is not easy to find a forum like this, I thank you for your courage and diligence, and we do need a place that takes the native people in respect and interest. aaahhh, sanctuary;)

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