Response to San Francisco Examiner column

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Letter to the editor:

Senior columnist Timothy P. Carney’s October 15 headline and column “Lisa Murkowski funded by ‘rent-an-Eskimo’ racket” in the Politics section of the San Francisco Examiner perpetuates the stereotype of Alaskan Natives that they are all “Eskimos”.  In reality, there are many different tribal groups within Alaska and most do not refer to themselves as “Eskimos”.  There are over 200 tribes/villages in Alaska including the Yupik or Inupiat Eskimo, Athabaskan, Aleut, Inuit, Tlingit, Haida, Eyak and Tsimshian people.

This column is also a direct insult to the Native population of Alaska by insinuating that they couldn’t reach a top position in a company.  Many Alaskan Natives and Native Americans across this country have committed themselves to hard work, just like their counterparts, to be put in positions of leadership.  To be able to lead a company like those within the Alaskan Native corporations shows their determination to achieve their own goals.  And to say that these corporations that are donating money to Lisa Murkowski’s campaign are merely being used or “rented” is an outrage.   

The Native American Journalists Association opens its doors to columnists, journalists and managers of news organizations to discuss correct usage of terms and to answer any questions about Indigenous people in the United States.

There are many issues Alaska Native people face today, not just Native 8(a) contracting including managing and exercising their rights of subsistence hunting and fishing, high suicide rates among young Alaska Native males, economic development and the loss of language, culture and identity.

NAJA asks the San Francisco Examiner to publish the response to Carney’s October 15 column by the ANCSA Regional Association and any other response by Native people who were offended by the term.

NAJA urges the San Francisco Examiner to take the time to learn in depth about Alaska tribes and even tribes in its home state of California.


Rhonda LeValdo

President, Native American Journalists Association


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One Response to “Response to San Francisco Examiner column”

  1. 47whitebuffalo Says:

    Greetings. Keep on posting/writing/reporting.

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