GOP VP Nominee Sarah Palin Married to Alaska Native

At least according to Wikipedia, citing the book Sarah: How a Hockey Mom Turned Alaska’s Political Establishment Upside Down:

Her husband, Todd, is a Native Yup’ik Eskimo. Outside the fishing season, Todd works for at an oil field on the North Slope and is a champion snowmobiler, winning the 2000-mile “Iron Dog” race four times. The two eloped shortly after Palin graduated college; when they learned they needed witnesses for the civil ceremony, they recruited two residents from the old-age home down the street. The Palin family lives in Wasilla, about 40 miles (64 km) north of Anchorage.

17 thoughts on “GOP VP Nominee Sarah Palin Married to Alaska Native

  1. Matthew L.M. Fletcher August 29, 2008 / 5:16 pm

    With all due respect to Sen. McCain, and much respect is due, still not voting for him….

  2. Bethany August 29, 2008 / 5:43 pm

    Hopefully Native voters in other swing states will feel the same. Anyone know her record on Alaska Native issues? Here’s a paragraph from a 2006 article on her gubenatorial race:

    Another disconnect is with the state’s Native corporations. Palin backed away from a scheduled meeting with Native executives several weeks ago, her campaign conceding she wasn’t ready to talk about tribal recognition and other Native concerns raised by the group. Subsistence was prominent on the executives’ list.
    Palin’s ties are strong to the Alaska Outdoor Council, whose calls for “equality” and hunting access sound different in rural Alaska than they do in the Mat-Su. It’s unclear where the candidate would turn for advice on Native political matters.

    By TOM KIZZIA, Anchorage Daily News, Part 2: Rebel status has fueled front-runner’s success

  3. ilpc August 29, 2008 / 5:44 pm

    The Wikipedia entry on Sarah Palin has been changed since our first post to include her husband’s blood quantum:

    “Palin’s husband, Todd, is a commercial fisherman and is one-quarter Yupik Eskimo. ”

    However, the Alaska Daily News article on Todd Palin notes that his mother, Blanche, was one-quarter Yupik:

    “Palin was born in the western Alaska town of Dillingham to Jim Palin and Blanche Kallstrom, who is a quarter Yu’pik Eskimo. He met Sarah Heath at a high school basketball game and they eloped in 1988, six years after graduation, to avoid having to pay for a wedding.”

    It was also changed to note that he works for BP on the oil field.

  4. N.C. RunningWolf September 2, 2008 / 2:43 am

    Well, here is one native who is not voting for the McCain ticket.
    We aren’t crazy about him here in Arizona.

  5. N.C. RunningWolf September 2, 2008 / 2:58 am

    I think, and that is only one old lady’s thoughts, that the Yu’pik bq requirement is 1/4.
    (I may be mistaken, I have all kinds of useless information floating around in my old head. ;>/)
    Therefore, his mother would be considered Yu’pik, he would be of Yu’pik descent.

  6. Writing Raven September 2, 2008 / 9:36 am

    Sarah Palin’s record on Native issues is non-existent. Despite the fact that her children are part Alaska Native, she has done nothing for Alaska Native people – having had many opportunities, she ignores them. I’ve posted on it on my blog:

  7. ilpc September 2, 2008 / 1:33 pm

    Any mention of Todd Palin’s Yu’pik ancestry has been removed from the Wikipedia entry on Sarah Palin. However, he now has his own page:

    which includes the following information:

    “His mother, a former secretary of the Alaska Federation of Natives, is one-quarter Yup’ik and also of Swedish descent, and his maternal grandmother, Lena Andre, is a member of the Curyung tribe. “

  8. mpb September 4, 2008 / 3:54 am

    There is no “blood quantum” for Yup’ik “tribe”. Each village in the Yup’ik region which is a federally recognized tribal government has its own requirements for membership. Membership in the Native corporations is subject to their own by-laws. (Village Corporation: Choggiung, Limited)

    Native Village of Curyung has the tribal government responsibilities which exist alongside of the municipality of Dillingham.

    I don’t know what membership requirements there are for Curyung or whether Mr Palin is enrolled.

    Todd Palin is accepted as of Yup’ik heritage, by most local people’s judgment.

    Wikipedia is entirely too flaky on these issues. Writing Raven, commenting above, is more reliable about Gov. Palin’s statements and programs for Alaska Natives.

    I have links to maps, community data, etc. [Really had I known 10 days ago I would have been more helpful with background info…. 😳 ]
    Where is… Wasilla (Gov. Sarah Palin’s

  9. ilpc September 4, 2008 / 3:06 pm

    Our use of Wikipedia is with the full understanding that the information might be -likely is?- wrong. What I find interesting is how and why the information on Wikipedia changes. It’s also, good or bad, where a majority of people go for information, particularly biographical information. In fact, one of the first articles about Palin in the Washington Post included information almost word-for-word from Wikipedia.

    Highlighting what is on Wikipedia in this instance gives our commenters the chance to clarify and explain what is wrong, or right, about the information. It also allows bloggers such as Writing Raven and mpb highlight the work they have already done on this issue, and issues about Alaska Natives in general.


  10. evelyn September 6, 2008 / 3:11 pm

    Does anyone know where Sara Palin eloped to and got married?

  11. '47 Chief September 16, 2008 / 9:52 pm

    Why as an Am. Indian would I vote for Sarah Palin just because her husband, the First Dud, is 1/8 Yup’ik? That’s like the follically challenged voting for Cheney just because he’s bald, or dumb people voting for Bush just because he’s stupid. And look where’s that’s gotten us.

  12. CheroCreek September 23, 2008 / 6:53 pm

    It seems that despite being of some native descent, Palin does not care to know or honor that part of her heritage. Her record on promoting mass killings of wolves does not speak well of her either.

    I would never vote for her for any office including that of dog catcher. Also, I have not forgotten the campaign of psychological terror the GOP used in the last presidential election. They, the GOP, have much for which to answer and apologize.

    BTW, I am not a member, nor do I support the Democratic party either. In my mind neither is fit to govern.


  13. Lisa Schmidt November 4, 2008 / 11:20 am

    Her husband is not running for president. Nor does she seem to respect what it means to be “Native American”. As McCain’s cheerleader, she is an insult to women, human rights, and dignity. Her state is among the top 5 worst offenders for pollution and poverty. CheroCreek, thank-you. I was unaware of her promotion of the killing of wolves. How disgusting. I heard once a rancher say (on60 Minutes) “It took us 200 years to wipe out the Indian, the mountain lion, and the wolf, and now you want to put it ( the wolf) back”. God save the white man..

  14. Hummingbird January 25, 2009 / 2:13 pm

    Sarah was also pregnant before she married,like mother like daughter!!!!!

  15. Bob Moore April 8, 2010 / 1:41 am

    As a genealogist, I suggest that the State of Alaska capitol, whatever that is, should have a copy of all marriages performed in the state. I’d like to know what you find out. I want to do their family histories. Good luck.

  16. Bob Moore April 8, 2010 / 1:44 am

    I am so happy that someone has picked up on this. Whatever happened to practice what you preach? Not to mention that Sarah has a bastard for a grandson. A real class act!!!

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