Thursday, November 6, 2008

Dear Mr. President,

Proud to Vote

I would like to congratulate you, President Elect Barack Obama, and VP Biden as well on your win. Although I am looking forward to your promises of keeping our Native American (Alaska Native) rights and issues on the front burner, I was ultimately disappointed that you did not wait until the polls closed throughout the United States to deliver your (very, very well written and well spoken) acceptance speech.

Prior to our 8:00 p.m. poll close, in 5 degree weather, 30 miles above the Arctic Circle, my uncle Grover, a War veteran who wears a prosthetic leg, went into the Northwest Arctic Borough Assembly Room, to vote for the next president of the United States of America, that same America he protected while serving in the US Navy as a young man, and his vote did not count.

Grover and Arigagiaq
Grover in 1952, when Alaska was just a territory

During that same time President Obama, you were well on your way through an acceptance speech in Chicago, coincidentally speaking about a 106 year old who cast her vote, and the importance it is, as an American Citizen, and especially as a minority to vote so our voices are heard, when my uncle was voting for you. I find that ultimately disrespectful as a person, and as someone who says he is a harbor for Change.

I fully understand the Electoral College, but for the sake of NOT being hypocritical, the least you could have done, Mr. President, was waited until the polls closed in all of America before you started accepting the presidency. Not only that, you have veterans, mothers, fathers, grandparents, and people ready for a change voting for you all the way up here, above the Arctic Circle, where our only neighbors are the three thousand caribou four miles out of town, and the only way in or out is via a 747 passenger jet for six hundred bucks. Our suburbs consist of barren tundra and frozen lakes, rivers and oceans. We commute to and from work in everything from a boat in the summer, to bush planes, snowmachines and 4 wheeled ATV’s in the winter.

Caribou on front
When I look out my window at the Post Office, this is what I see

I won’t say if I voted for you President Obama, or Senator McCain, but I will say that with Governor Sarah Palin as the VP candidate for the Republican party, Alaska was finally looked at as more than just a cold state full of Eskimo’s and oil. We do have oil, we have natural gas, and we have natural resources vital to America. Possibly, we, in Alaska, need to state to the oil companies, “I’m sorry, we don’t ship outside ALASKA.” But, we are a part of a union, one created for the people, by the people and of the people, our One Nation under God.

We want to share our resources with you; we want to be a part of your Change. We need to be a part of this change! We need this change more than anyone else. You see, my gas costs me $7.30 per gallon and my heating oil costs me $6.36 per gallon. I have no trees I can cut down to heat my home, so, its imperative for me and my family that you keeps your promise, and you understand that we, even way up here above the Arctic Circle, are still a part of the United States. Our Alaskan soldiers are fighting an American war, our oil is being refined in California, our Copper River Salmon is being eaten all over, and our ANWR is being fought over in D.C.

Again, congratulations President Elect Barack Obama and VP Joe Biden. Please keep ALL American’s in mind, especially those who pay the highest energy prices in your nation.

Quyaana, Taikuu Nalagniluqtusi! Thank you for your time...

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