ANCSA association endorses Tara Sweeney for Congress

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Alaska’s Native corporations are getting behind one of the 48 candidates for Congress in Alaska’s election that will replace the late Congressman Don Young. The ANCSA Association board of directors has voted to endorse Tara Sweeney for Alaska’s lone congressional seat.

“The decision recognizes the historic opportunity before Alaskans to elect the state’s first Alaska Native and female congressperson,” the board said in a statement. “It is rare for ARA to support a political candidate but a candidate as experienced and qualified as Tara Katuk Sweeney is also rare,” said ARA President Kiln Reitmeier. “As our nation‘s first Alaska Native Assistant Secretary of Indian Tara fought tirelessly from our nation’s capital in Washington D.C. to help create jobs and economic opportunity for all Alaskans, including those in rural communities.”

Sweeney is former co-chair of Alaska Federation of Natives and was Vice President for external affairs for Arctic Slope Regional Corporation, a Native corporation created by the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act. Board members include Sophie Minich of CIRI, Gail Schubert of Bering Straits Native Corporation, Sauna Hegna of Koniag, Anthony Mallott of Sealaska, Skoey Vergan of Aleut Native Corporation, Michelle Anderson of Ahtna, Rex Rock, Sr. of ASRC, Jason Metrokin of Bristol Bay Native Corporation, Andrew Guy of Calista, and Sheri Buretta of Chugach.

Sweeney is one of dozens who will be on the June 11 special election primary ballot, part of the process of picking the temporary member of Congress, who will be elected in the special general election in August and who would serve until January. Almost simultaneously, an election for the permanent seat will be taking place, starting Aug. 16 with a primary and ending in November with the general election.

Ironically, it was Congressman Nick Begich who pushed ANCSA through in Congress when he served as Alaska’s lone representative in 1971. The bill extinguished Alaska Native aboriginal claims, and was signed by President Nixon that year, ushering the way for Native corporations and the development of Alaska’s oil on the North Slope. His grandson, Nick Begich III, is now running for Congress.

15 COMMENTS

    • One would think it could be an easy choice given all the choices. But I don’t like the family that is running the Begich campaign, and you can tell he is a fake on the gun issue by the way he holds that shotgun in the ad (just like the Democrat who shot a bear in the race against Sullivan two years ago). Palin is probably best on the Second Amendment. Coghill may actually be the only honest person in the race (!) but then there was SB 91. Dunleavy voted for SB 91 by the way. If I had to vote today I guess I would vote for Palin and not tell anyone. Palin is probably the most similar to Boebert, of CO, and I very much believe Boebert is the best person in the entire Congress.

      • You’re on to something, bud: “The Heavenly Vixens–Boebert, Greene, and Palin!” Those looking for a little something steamy would be able to find it on the nightly news. “The ‘people’s house’–risqué and decadent!” brought to you by C-SPAN!

  1. She been an effective leader within the bubble world of native peoples, unfortunately outside this native crowd no one knows her. This is a statewide race. Cause you know! Natives do not hold the state population at 40%, young native ambitious aspiring leaders can’t afford isolating themselves to the native world, when it no longer has the population representation. Ak Indian health workers done an excellent job declining and maintaining ak native population and declining like the blacks at 14% using conceptives and abortion.

    • I thought Alaskan Natives were US citizens just like everyone else. My grandparents taught me that we are as much Americans as anybody. But young Native people have been trained to believe that they hold higher class of rights and entitlements in Alaska. Therefore, I will not vote for Tara Sweeney. She would only promote a racial bias in our state.

      • Yes, we all now see that. We have the haves and the have-nots based upon who the federal government thinks is Native.

  2. I guess they gotta, but seems like a waste of time and money. She and they would be more effective throwing their support to a candidate who had a chance of winning

  3. Um – The update mentioned one Scott Kendall, Walker’s right hand man (or at least he was) and the author of the new voting law. OK, I am now seriously asking what this person has to do with the candidacy of Sweeney. With all of his shenanigans of the past, I now have to suspect the worst. Please, Suzanne, more info on how this boll weevil is doing burrowing into her campaign.

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