Dear Governor Parnell, Mr. Moller, Ms. Jollie and Others*
My name is Ann Strongheart. I am from the village of Nunam Iqua on the Yukon Delta. I am certain most of you already know who I am, if not I invite you to visit my blog to learn more about me. http://anonymousbloggers.wordpress.com/
Like Mr. Nicholas Tucker Sr., I have become an advocate of sorts for the people of bush Alaska. After last winter’s crisis not only on the Yukon but also across bush Alaska I along with a group of wonderfully generous hardworking individuals have been trying to keep this winter from turning out like last year’s.
Although with another non existent salmon fishing season on the Yukon and winter fast approaching I am worried that this winter will in fact be worse than last winter. I was happy to see that Governor Parnell made a disaster declaration for the Salmon Fisheries on the Yukon, although I fear that this will not be enough.
We at Anonymous Bloggers have been trying, in vain, to find out if the rural villages have enough fuel for the winter. We have contacted, with little to no response, the Rural Advisory Panel and the Rural Sub cabinet and Rural Advisor Moller and the Attorney General and I could keep going and going with our attempts to get answers to the following questions:
Are the meetings for both the Advisory Panel and the Rural Sub cabinet open to the public? If so can we get a 1-800 so we might listen in?
Also, is it possible to get an agenda for both?
If we see something either on the agenda or missing from the agenda that concerns us is it possible to speak to the issue? If not who would we direct our concerns to?
As rural Alaskan citizens we have a number of concerns that are specific to our areas and are looking for a forum in which to have those issues addressed.
Those are just a few of the questions we have asked and had ignored.
I am curious about a few things, and I am hoping that SOMEONE that receives this email will help me learn.
Are rural Alaskans time and respect worth less than yours?? As rural Alaskans we take time out of our busy schedules trying to put away enough food for the winter to contact you all with our concerns.
Instead of prompt courteous responses we are either ignored or referred to someone else who in turn refers us to another and another.
Is this something that our Government officials take a special class on and learn how to placate their constituents? It seems like to me that y’all figure if you ignore us enough or give us enough of a run around that maybe just maybe we’ll go away??
Are our concerns less important than urban Alaskans because it is so hard for us to make it into Anchorage or Juneau due to the cost of travel? Does this make it easier to ignore our legitimate questions?
Is it your hope that eventually we will just all give up and move to Anchorage so y’all can take over the resources in rural Alaska ?
Let me assure you that will NEVER happen. Alaskan Natives and Native Americans across not only Alaska but the entire United States are tired of being ignored, used, abused, discarded and manipulated! We have been knocked down, and told what to do and not do for hundreds of years. We, all Natives, are very proud people. We may have been ignored and pushed around but no longer. We are learning that we do have voices and that we can be not only heard but also listened to. We will not give up what little land and resources we have now nor in the future. We have already had too much taken away from us. So don’t think that by placating and ignoring us that we’ll just give up. We have just gotten started. The “Natives” are restless and tired of being ignored and stepped on.
We have the same rights as every U.S. Citizen granted to us by the U.S. Constitution and Declaration of Independence among others. We won’t go quietly into the bush and continue to be ignored and taken advantage of. I am quite certain that we, Native Alaskans and Native Americans, have earned more respect than we have been allotted by our Government Officials. But what have you done to earn our respect? I don’t think respect is earned by placating and ignoring someone, do you?
I know y’all are busy, but last time I checked everyone is. I think our time is just as precious as yours. I think if we can take the time out of subsistence fishing and gathering etc. to contact you that the least y’all could do would be to reply saying “I received your letter/call/etc. and I am busy but will respond to you when I can or forward your inquiry to someone who can respond.
At least take the time to blow us off properly by responding that you did in fact receive our letters rather than completely ignoring us.
It seems like the only way we, Alaskan Native and Rural Alaskans, can get your attention is to get the media involved. We have to step up on our soap boxes and yell loud enough for y’all in Anchorage and Juneau to hear us. Why in the world is it so hard for OUR elected and non elected officials, who are supposed to represent us, to address our questions?
So can anyone who received this email answer my questions? At this point since the meeting is on Monday I’d even be happy to hear back from the Anchorage Daily News or the Alaska Dispatch, or any other media or individual since I doubt I will receive a response from any Government Officials.
Quyana Cakneq in advance for your time in reading and hopefully responding to this inquiry.
(Attn: Any MSM/newspapers whom are receipients of this letter have my permission to publish it. Please feel to contact me if you have any questions)
*Sent: Friday, August 14, 2009 2:30 PM
To: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org
Cc: Annie Feidt; Art Nelson; beth skabar; Wesley ADN; Dennis Zaki – AlaskaReport.com; Linda Biegel; Rep John Coghill; Cora Crome; Rep Nancy Dahlstrom; Sen Hollis French; Rep Carl Gatto; Karen Gillis; Rep Max Gruenberg; Rep Lindsey Holmes; TONY HOPFINGER; Kyle Hopkins; wesley loy; Rep Bob Lynn; Simon Mallory; Sen Lesil McGuire; Philip Munger; Harlan Native America Calling; Rep Jay Ramras; Neva Reece; Harley Sundown; Sen Gene Therriault; Nick Tucker; Sen Bill Wielechowski; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; N1857@conocophillips.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; Mary_pete@bethel.uaf.edu; Kathie@akml.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; Merlaine.email@example.com; AFNInfo@NativeFederation.org; firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: The Natives are RESTLESS and NO ONE cares!
Note: I’m posting this for Ann because she’s spent much of her valuable time today rebooting her computer just to get this letter out.
In Bethel, Ethan Berkowitz, a former state legislator who lost a bid for Congress last year, joined the meeting to push for $180 million in stimulus money to create the infrastructure for broadband Internet in rural Alaska. I second that!
Also, Ann neglected to mention that both she and Nick took time from their busy lives to be guests on nationally-aired Native America Calling on public radio recently. John Moller was invited to participate and didn’t reply.
Buy gift cards for residents of Eagle who lost everything including their survival gear in the Yukon breakup!
Big Ray’s is offering a 20% discount to Eagle Village residents and distributing gift cards to those who need them most. Gift cards are $10 – increase the quantity to donate more.
Get the latest from Eagle here.