Palin appears opposed to native sovereignty
GOP vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin has not stated her position on Hawaiian sovereignty, opposed by John McCain.
Sarah Palin introduced her husband, Todd, at last week's Republican National Convention as being part Yup'ik Eskimo, but that does not necessarily make her sympathetic to indigenous peoples. Sen. John McCain has stated his opposition to Hawaiian sovereignty, and his running mate in the presidential race appears to be in lockstep.
When Sen. Daniel Akaka's Hawaiian sovereignty bill went to the Senate floor two years ago, McCain voted to end a filibuster and allow it to be considered for a vote, because he had promised to do so. He added in a floor speech, "I would like the record to reflect clearly, though, that I am unequivocally opposed to this bill and that I will not support its passage should cloture be invoked."
Sarah Palin was 7 years old when Congress granted sovereignty to native Alaskan tribes in 1971. However, as governor, she has earned the ire of indigenous Alaskans, according to a blog by Sara Marie Ortiz, an Acoma Pueblo writer and graduate student at Antioch University in Los Angeles. Described on her MySpace page as an advocate of indigenous women and children, she plans to enter law school next year at New Mexico University, where she has been accepted.
In a detailed treatise copied onto the Barack Obama campaign Web site, Ortiz has documented Palin's attempt as Alaska governor to narrow federal protection of native Alaskan subsistence fishing and hunting. Her arguments, which would enhance sport fishing and hunting, have been rejected by federal judges and are on appeal.
Palin "does not technically challenge" native Alaskan sovereignty, but has tried to block tribal jurisdiction over the welfare of native children, according to Ortiz. State and federal courts have struck down Palin's policy, and the issue is on appeal in the federal court system.
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