To be fair, I am sure that most Alaska Native communities would have preferred that the state had taken a position that made Native subsistence practices a priority over all others. With many Alaska Natives being “rural residents,” they benefit significantly from the subsistence preference in ANILCA.
However, that federal law provides rights for all rural residents; and as governor, Palin is responsible to advocate for the interests of all Alaskans, Native and non-Native. She has done so in much the same manner as did former Gov. Tony Knowles, the Democrat she defeated in 2006. Palin, like other governors before her, has pursued a balance between competing Native and non-Native, urban and rural, as well as commercial and subsistence interests.
It is highly unfair and grossly inaccurate to accuse Palin of an “attack” on Native subsistence. The lawyers who wrote this allegation know better, as does the campaign they are leading.
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