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[revised] 2008-10-20 Finally, ADN had background on Todd Palin’s family, Yup’ik ties give Palins unique Alaska connection NATIVE: Grandmother on Todd’s side calls the governor a ‘special gal.’ By TOM KIZZIA tkizzia@adn.com Published: October 19th, 2008 11:20 PM. Anthropologically or historically, this background information is important because it reflects a lot of Alaskan history and because Todd’s wife is running for Vice-President. Unfortunately, a lot of Sarah Palin’s supporters and Palin herself have used Todd’s grandmother as a qualification for political office. The argument Palin has used is that she automatically has the best interests of Alaska Native/American Indian, rural Alaska, and tribal issues because of her husband’s family. Grandmothers are important in the 2008 election, whether Sen. Obama’s or Gov. Palin’s in-laws. But actions rather than inheritance are clearer guides to integrity, in my opinion. Assuming that inheritance determines behavior is called “biological determinism” and is well demonstrated as false as any other racist assumption.

After last Friday, there is no point in trying to correct what others in the country say about our native people in the Yukon Kuskokwim Nushagak region. Occasionally in the past I did try to inform news writers about how to improve their stories (professional journalists really ought to know how to look up answers). Even in Alaska, most people don’t know rural Alaska (because most people live in Anchorage).

I don’t know Todd Palin or his family. I read he was born in Dillingham along the Nushagak River of Bristol Bay; one of his great(?)grandparents is of Yup’ik heritage. [Todd’s grandmother grew up in a traditional Yup’ik Eskimo house in Bristol Bay and accompanied Sarah in her race for governor as she sought support from … http://www.ajc.com/news/content/news/stories/2008/08/29/CAMPAIGN_PALIN_odds.html]
As a child, he moved to Wasilla, where he met Sarah first during high school.

I just ran across this news story about the Yup’ik people in Eek, along the Kuskokwim River of Kuskokwim Bay. It is well written and gives a valid characterization of how Eskimo and Gussack (non-Eskimo, from the Russian), that is, Alaska Native and non-Alaska Native people, live in remote Alaska today.

Remote Alaskan village hangs onto heritage
by Mark Constantine | The Saginaw News
Sunday August 31, 2008, 9:00 AM

EEK, Alaska — The sun hangs low in the sky in mid-July, just above the distant horizon, bathing the gently waving tundra grass in the soft, warm glow of early evening.

But it’s midnight and nightfall, or what the nearly 300 residents of the tiny village of Eek, Alaska, on the Eek River in the Yukon Kuskokwim Delta call night, remains an hour away. […]

For good writing and perspectives on national politics and the effects on Alaska and Alaska Natives stop by Writing Raven http://alaskareal.blogspot.com/

2008sep01 I have a listing of various teacher blogs from those teaching and learning in the rural Alaska, Tundra Teachers- http://cerebraloddjobs.edublogs.org/2007/11/10/tundra-teachers/ Some post more regularly than others. Most bloggers are new to teaching and Alaska, but the ones written by long-time Alaskans and Alaska Native teachers are particularly interesting.

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