You wouldn't know it from her political record however.
On the blog Rez Net Holly Miowak Stebing, a 20-year-old Inupiaq woman says while Alaskans as a whole are excited about the Palin pick, they're not jumping up and down with enthusiasm in the Native community. She criticized Palin for undermining causes she sees as beneficial to Native Alaskans, such as the governor's opposition to a legislative proposition that would have stopped certain mining operations in the state from releasing toxic pollutants into water that would harm the health of humans or salmon. Stebing said salmon is important as a food and revenue source to Native Alaskans, but Palin opposed the measure, which was defeated Aug. 26 by more than 57 percent of Alaskan voters.
Chuck Degnan, who is Inupiaq and a former Alaskan state representative, says he also was upset when he learned that Sarah Palin opposed Proposition 4, which he said was important in protecting tribal cultures in Alaska.
"It's critical we have clean water for those animals so it doesn't affect our health," he said.
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.
New American Media points out:
"In a report on the plight of Native Alaskans, the U.S. Civil Rights Commission called for massive increases in spending on job and skills training and programs to boost employment, improve education and public services. The commission called for sweeping reforms in the criminal justice and health care systems. The recommendations were made four years before Palin took office. Other than a brief mention of diversity in her gubernatorial campaign speech in 2006, there is no evidence that Palin has said or done anything about the commission’s recommendations."
Indian Country today reports:
"...Palin has drawn concern from some Alaska Natives, especially on issues surrounding an initiative to stop development of the Pebble Mine adjacent to the Bristol Bay fishing grounds, which is a prime area for both commercial and subsistence salmon fishing."
''Her public position on that issue undoubtedly had an effect on the defeat of that initiative, an initiative supported by many of the region's Inupiat and Yup'ik Alaska Natives,'' said Carl Shepro, a political science professor at the University of Alaska."
Because like Fox News "I'm Fair and Balanced" and I'm here to tell you Gov. Palin says she supports teaching traditional culture and languages in schools. ''A strong sense of identity will keep kids in school until they become strong adults equipped to thrive in today's world,'' she wrote.
I'm with her on that one.
Oh, and FYI, Walt Monegan, the state of Alaska's commissioner of public safety, was fired by Gov. Sarah Palin (R).
Monegan was the first Alaska Native to hold the job. He was appointed shortly after Palin was elected in 2006.
He said was being pressured to fire a state trooper who was married to Palin's sister before he got the axe.
Anyway, for a bit more thorough look at Sara's politics and how they have affected Alaska's indigenous population, read on...
The following is from the blog Turtle Talk.
Palin on Tribes
From Lloyd Miller & Heather Kendall Miller
Sarah Palin’s Record on Alaska Native and Tribal Issues
1. Palin has attacked Alaska Native Subsistence Fishing
Perhaps no issue is of greater importance to Alaska Native peoples as the right to hunt and fish according to ancient customary and traditional practices, and to carry on the subsistence way of life for future generations.
Governor Sarah Palin has consistently opposed those rights.
Once in office, Governor Palin decided to continue litigation that seeks to overturn every subsistence fishing determination the federal government has ever made in Alaska. (State of Alaska v. Norton, 3:05-cv-0158-HRH (D. Ak).) In pressing this case, Palin decided against using the Attorney General (which usually handles State litigation) and instead continued contracting with Senator Ted Stevens’ brother-in-law’s law firm (Birch, Horton, Bittner & Cherot).
The goal of Palin’s law suit is to invalidate all the subsistence fishing regulations the federal government has issued to date to protect Native fishing, and to force the courts instead to take over the role of setting subsistence regulations. Palin’s law suit seeks to diminish subsistence fishing rights in order to expand sport and commercial fishing.
In May 2007, the federal court rejected the State’s main challenge, holding that Congress in 1980 had expressly granted the U.S. Interior and Agriculture Departments the authority to regulate and protect Native and rural subsistence fishing activities in Alaska. (Decision entered May 15, 2007 (Dkt. No. 110).)
Notwithstanding this ruling, Palin continues to argue in the litigation that the federal subsistence protections are too broad, and should be narrowed to exclude vast areas from subsistence fishing, in favor of sport and commercial fishing. Palin opposes subsistence protections in marine waters, on many of the lands that Natives selected under their 1971 land claims settlement with the state and federal governments, and in many of the rivers where Alaska Natives customarily fish. (Alaska Complaint at 15-18.) Palin also opposes subsistence fishing protections on Alaska Native federal allotments that were deeded to individuals purposely to foster Native subsistence activities. All these issues are now pending before the federal district court.
2. Palin has attacked Alaska Native Subsistence Hunting
Palin has also sought to invalidate critical determinations the Federal Subsistence Board has made regarding customary and traditional uses of game, specifically to take hunting opportunities away from Native subsistence villagers and thereby enhance sport hunting.
Palin’s attack here on subsistence has focused on the Ahtna Indian people in Chistochina.
Although the federal district court has rejected Palin’s challenge, she has carried on an appeal that was argued in August 2008. (State of Alaska v. Fleagle, No. 07-35723 (9th Cir.).)
In both hunting and fishing matters, Palin has continued uninterrupted the policies initiated by the former Governor Frank Murkowski Administration, challenging hunting and fishing protections that Native people depend upon for their subsistence way of life in order to enhance sport fishing and hunting opportunities. Palin’s lawsuits are a direct attack on the core way of life of Native Tribes in rural Alaska.
3. Palin has attacked Alaska Tribal Sovereignty
Governor Palin opposes Alaska tribal sovereignty.
Given past court rulings affirming the federally recognized tribal status of Alaska Native villages, Palin does not technically challenge that status. But Palin argues that Alaska Tribes have no authority to act as sovereigns, despite their recognition.
So extreme is Palin on tribal sovereignty issues that she has sought to block tribes from exercising any authority whatsoever even over the welfare of Native children, adhering to a 2004 legal opinion issued by the former Murkowski Administration that no such jurisdiction exist (except when a state court transfers a matter to a tribal court).
Both the state courts and the federal courts have struck down Palin’s policy of refusing to recognize the sovereign authority of Alaska Tribes to address issues involving Alaska Native children. Native Village of Tanana v. State of Alaska, 3AN-04-12194 CI (judgment entered Aug. 26, 2008) (Ak. Super. Ct.); Kaltag Tribal Council v. DHHS, No. 3:06-cv-00211-TMB (D. Ak.), pending on appeal No 08-35343 (9th Cir.)). Nonetheless, Palin’s policy of refusing to recognize Alaska tribal sovereignty remains unchanged.
4. Palin has attacked Alaska Native Languages
Palin has refused to accord proper respect to Alaska Native languages and voters by refusing to provide language assistance to Yup’ik speaking Alaska Native voters. As a result, Palin was just ordered by a special three-judge panel of federal judges to provide various forms of voter assistance to Yup’ik voters residing in southwest Alaska. Nick v. Bethel, No. 3:07-cv-0098-TMB (D. Ak.) (Order entered July 30, 2008). Citing years of State neglect, Palin was ordered to provide trained poll workers who are bilingual in English and Yup’ik; sample ballots in written Yup’ik; a written Yup’ik glossary of election terms; consultation with local Tribes to ensure the accuracy of Yup’ik translations; a Yup’ik language coordinator; and pre-election and post-election reports to the court to track the State’s efforts.
In sum, measured against some the rights that are most fundamental to Alaska Native Tribes - the subsistence way of life, tribal sovereignty and voting rights – Palin’s record is a failure.