For the first time, the Alaska Federation of Natives has endorsed a candidate for president — Hillary Clinton.
In a news release, the organization said Clinton will help further self-determination and sovereignty for Native people, while Donald Trump would marginalize and “dramatically” weaken the trust relationship between Native Americans and the federal government.
AFN President Julie Kitka told the audience at the Tribal Leaders Conference Wednesday morning the AFN board decided to weigh in on the upcoming presidential election.
“This is the first time in AFN’s 50 year history that we’ve ever endorsed a presidential candidate,” Kitka said.
A critical time for Alaska Native peoples
Kitka said the gesture isn’t intended to tell anyone how to vote, but is meant to show “leadership” at a critical time for politics that directly impact Alaska Native peoples. The three-page resolution lists Clinton’s promises and record on issues relevant to indigenous communities.
“Our number one thing is we don’t want to be marginalized, we don’t want to be a target where all we’re doing is raising money for litigation and fighting for our rights,” Kitka said. “We want to establish our rights and build on them and have a future for our children and grandchildren.”
The resolution does not mention the name of Clinton’s opponent, Republican Donald J. Trump.
Related stories from around the North:
Canada: Canada stresses diplomacy and cooperation at Ottawa Arctic conference, Radio Canada International
Finland: Finland set to chair Arctic Council as member relations sour, Yle News
Iceland: The Arctic Council at 20 – View from Iceland, Eye on the Arctic
Norway: Norwegians light bonfire near Russian border to protest defense cuts, The Independent Barents Observer
Russia: Norwegian FM Brende invites Russian FM Lavrov for Arctic talks in Tromsø, The Independent Barents Observer
United States: Really? Alaska in play in presidential race?, Alaska Public Radio Network