An Alaska Native’s take on his Governor

Dear Editor,

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 and fishing rights of Alaska Natives. We didn’t get anywhere. She sided with sport and commercial interests, so I walked out on her and never looked back.

In general, I believe Sarah Palin is another version of Bush, just as inexperienced, but more impulsive. She is very dangerous and scary.

Is this who you want as President?

Wake up America! Send her back to Alaska. She has plenty of unfinished 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.

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. 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 tribe has ever accomplished such a feat. If she drills in the Arctic Refuge, it’ll be the end of my culture. With God’s help, hopefully everyone can understand. Our way of life off the land is everything to us.

We’re suffering from fuel costs. We’re suffering from strangulating fish and wildlife regulations that keep us from surviving off the already scarce wildlife.

Her hometown Wasillia, has been a hot-bed for racist and anti-Native attitudes. 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.

If you elect Palin, the consequence are too scary for me to even think about. Please vote for change. Vote for Obama.

Matt Gilbert