Wolf Song of Alaska News

'Free Beer' Remarks Reflect Ugliness that Alaska Natives Often Face

Letters / Anchorage Daily News / November 10, 2006

I was appalled to read of Ron Somerville's comments at the Oct. 7 State of Alaska Board of Game meeting ("Somerville apologizes for offending remarks," Nov. 2).

"After the third speaker didn't show, Somerville said:

'There must have been a run on free beer or something.'

Somerville called Donna Hicks of Copper Center to speak.

Hicks was present. 'Don't like beer, Donna?' he asked."

These statements make me wonder if Somerville's apparent racist comments are reflective of the leadership views of the Board of Game and reflective of his past leadership role with the Alaska Outdoor Council. I certainly hope not. Would Somerville have made those same comments regarding the absent speakers had they been any race but Alaska Native?

His ugly remarks along with his insincere apology should serve to make all Alaskans question whether he should be trusted as a public official making important decisions for us. Somerville's ugly words and lack of respect show the world that Alaska Natives face as we struggle to continue to live our unique and beautiful Alaska Native way of life.

---- Jack Zayon / Anchorage

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