I received an interesting email early this afternoon. It’s more information about Sarah Palin. It was titled “Sarah Palin Attacks Tribes.” Attached was a .PDF document containing Sarah Palin’s Record on Alaska Native and Tribal Issues, which is the work of Lloyd Miller and his wife Heather. It has 4 major points showing how Sarah Palin consistently opposes the Alaska Native peoples’ right to hunt and fish according to customary and traditional practices allowing them to carry on their subsistence way of life and the way of life for their future generations.
I wanted to know if this was just baseless attacks or truth, so I sent an email to Mr. Miller at the email provided at the bottom of the document I received. His response was, to say the least, immediate. I hardly had to wait 15 minutes before his reply was in my inbox. He informed me that the statements were indeed true, and that it was his and his wife Heather’s work. I print the contents of the PDF, in its entirety, for you to review below, with his permission.
Doing some more research into Mr. Miller, who is a member of the Law Firm, Sonosky, Chambers, Sachse, Miller & Munson, LLP based in Anchorage, Alaska, I found that Mr. Miller works to protect the rights of Native Alaskans, as well as representing Native American interests in a variety of legal areas. While representing the Cherokee Nation, Mr. Miller won a tremendous victory in 2005 not only for the Cherokee’s, but on behalf of all Native American tribes in the Supreme Court.
He represented the Cherokees in a suit where the U.S, government went into contracts with the tribes to provide health services that the government would normally provide, with the agreement that the government would reimburse the costs of the services and then government failed to pay. After an appeals court ruled that the government wasn’t legally obligated to pay up, Mr. Miller won at the Supreme Court overturning the appeals court decision. He also represented Alaskan Natives in the Exxon-Valdez litigation and was the plaintiff’s liaison counsel for the entire class, winning a $5 billion dollar verdict in 1994. The case is currently on appeal awaiting argument in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on a reduced award.
Although ironically, Exxon may have won a victory of sorts, as the case has outlived most of the original plaintiffs.
There is also a discrepancy between McCain’s web site and Palin as the other half of the ticket.
From the McCain/Palin web site:
“Political self-determination and economic self-sufficiency are the foundations of John McCain's American Indian policy. John McCain will work to strengthen the government-to-government relationship through consultation and respect for the unique trust relationship with the tribes that arises out of the treaties and innumerable court decisions and Acts of Congress.”
It also goes on to state:
“John McCain has a clear record of working for the betterment of American Indian communities throughout his career. He began his work with Indian tribes shortly after he was elected to Congress.”
So this begs the question, how will he accomplish his Native American policies with the obvious polar, no pun intended, view of Sarah Palin as his Vice-President? Seems like an oxymoron at best, and a little hypocritical at worse. What does this say for him on issues that affect Native American tribes in Alaska and across the nation?
Being an American Indian myself, I find it appalling that what little agreements were settled upon through treaties or other means, and what little sovereignty remains us, is being attacked in this, or any manner.
What other minority groups might fall prey to her mindset and policies if elected into office?
Read on, and decide for yourself.
Sarah Palin’s Record on Alaska Native and Tribal Issues