Legislature(2001 - 2002)

01/17/2002 08:03 AM STA

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HB 285-SECOND VERSE OF ALASKA'S STATE SONG                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Number 0242                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COGHILL                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  COGHILL announced  that the  first order  of business  was                                                               
HOUSE  BILL  NO. 285,  "An  Act  adding  a  second verse  to  the                                                               
official  Alaska state  song."   He  introduced Charlotte  Benson                                                               
Irvin  and   Sherry  Irvin,   the  daughter   and  granddaughter,                                                               
respectively, of Benny Benson [the designer of the Alaska flag].                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Number 0338                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CARL MORGAN, Alaska  State Legislature, sponsor of                                                               
HB  285, thanked  the committee  for  scheduling the  bill to  be                                                               
heard.   He reminded the  House State Affairs  Standing Committee                                                               
that  the  bill  had  been  heard  in  the  past  and  was  being                                                               
resurrected.  He  expressed his belief that the  present time was                                                               
the  right time  for  bringing the  bill  before the  legislature                                                               
again, and he  told the committee that he felt  honored to be the                                                               
one  to do  so.    Representative Morgan  read  from the  sponsor                                                               
statement  [included   in  committee  packet],  which   reads  as                                                               
follows:                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     This  legislation  is a  vehicle  to  officially add  a                                                                    
     second  verse, written  by Carol  Beery  Davis, to  the                                                                    
     Alaska state song.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     "Alaska's Flag" written by Marie  Drake and composed by                                                                    
     Elinor  Dusenbury was  adopted  as  the official  state                                                                    
     song  in 1956,  and  was gifted  to  the University  of                                                                    
     Alaska  in April  1960.   Carol Beery  Davis wrote  the                                                                    
     second verse  to "Alaska's Flag"  and gifted  the words                                                                    
     (protected by  copyright) to  the University  of Alaska                                                                    
     Foundation in  February 1987.   This  legislation would                                                                    
     allow for the gift, a  second verse to "Alaska's Flag",                                                                    
     to be  recognized and adopted  as part of  the official                                                                    
     state song as was the first verse in 1956.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     Further, this  legislation would recognize  Carol Beery                                                                    
     Davis,  an Alaskan  pioneer and  poet laureate,  as the                                                                    
     maker of the  second verse.  While  the official Alaska                                                                    
     state song recognizes and  describes Alaska's flag, the                                                                    
     words of Davis in the  second verse of "Alaska's Flag",                                                                    
     "A Native  lad chose  the Dipper's stars,  For Alaska's                                                                    
     flag that  there be no  bars", provides  recognition of                                                                    
     Bennie Benson  who designed  Alaska's official  flag in                                                                    
     1927.  Benny Benson described his design of the flag:                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
          "The  blue field  is for  the Alaska  Sky and                                                                         
          the  forget-me-not, an  Alaskan flower.   The                                                                         
          North Star     is for  the future  of Alaska,                                                                         
          the most northerly  in   the   union.     The                                                                         
          Dipper is  for the  Great Bear  - symbolizing                                                                         
          strength."                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     It  is  timely to  have  this  second verse  officially                                                                    
     added to the  Alaska state song as 2002  marks the 75th                                                                    
     Anniversary of the Alaska Flag.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     Additionally,  it  is   appropriate  to  recognize  the                                                                    
     contributions  of all  Alaskans, whether  [it] was  our                                                                    
     sourdoughs who  dreamed of gold  in the  streams nearby                                                                    
     or a  young native lad who  saw and gave Alaska  a flag                                                                    
     of great symbolism.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  COGHILL asked  Representative Morgan  if he  was going  to                                                               
sing the new verse for the committee.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Number 0730                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MORGAN answered  no, he  wanted to  see the  bill                                                               
pass.   He offered to  answer questions, but asked  the committee                                                               
to keep  in mind  that he was  not the composer  of the  song and                                                               
would not attempt  to interpret the words for  Carol Beery Davis.                                                               
He said that  trying to interpret the meaning of  her words would                                                               
be like his taking "one star out  of the sky and saying, 'This is                                                               
it.'"                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Number 0806                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  COGHILL pointed  out that  the verse  being looked  at was                                                               
gifted  to the  university  and was  copyrighted; therefore,  the                                                               
committee could only  vote whether or not to adopt  it, but could                                                               
not  amend it.    He  said he  had  considered  how people  could                                                               
interpret the words.   He stated his own  interpretation that the                                                               
words were  about honoring one  another, which was  his intention                                                               
when  signing on  to the  bill.   Chair Coghill  noted that  [the                                                               
verse before the  committee] was in keeping with  the first verse                                                               
of the song, about being a  great land.  He mentioned moving [the                                                               
bill] forward.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Number 0896                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JAMES commented that it  takes a long time to make                                                               
changes.   She noted, as an  example, the period of  time between                                                               
the abolishment of  slavery and the Bill of  Rights, during which                                                               
there was  a struggle  to come  to some kind  of a  compromise or                                                               
solution.  She  said she does not necessarily feel  bad that this                                                               
bill wasn't passed  before, because timing is  important in every                                                               
issue.  She talked about the  stars being aligned and the present                                                               
time being right  to [pass HB 285].   Representative James stated                                                               
her support, as co-sponsor to the  bill.  She said she understood                                                               
there  will  always  be  people  who would  not  be  happy  about                                                               
something, but often  "once you go over that wall  and get there,                                                               
it  doesn't create  the kinds  of  things that  they think  might                                                               
happen  and  it  goes  better   than  people  anticipate."    She                                                               
expressed her  belief that [passing  HB 285] was the  right thing                                                               
to do  and thanked  Representative Morgan  for bringing  the bill                                                               
before the committee.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Number 1010                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE STEVENS said it was  nice to see Charlotte [Benson                                                               
Irvin] and  Sherry [Irvin] at the  meeting.  He told  them he had                                                               
had  the  pleasure  of  knowing  their  father  and  grandfather,                                                               
respectively,  who  was   a  great  man  who   made  a  wonderful                                                               
contribution.     Representative   Stevens  concurred   with  the                                                               
statements made  by Representative James.   He said if  the verse                                                               
under  consideration  was  read   carefully,  there  was  nothing                                                               
exclusionary  about it,  which is  what he  liked about  it.   He                                                               
interpreted the verse as saying,  "let's work together, let's get                                                               
together, let's work  as Alaskans, in tandem."   He expressed his                                                               
belief  that AFN  [Alaska Federation  of  Natives] supported  the                                                               
bill,  and  he asked  Representative  Morgan  to comment  on  the                                                               
amount of support around the state for making this change.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Number 1080                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MORGAN  answered that although many  of the Native                                                               
organizations have not had enough  time to "come up," [his staff]                                                               
has received useful  information from them.  He  said the [Alaska                                                               
Native Sisterhood  (ANS)] has backed  the bill; ANS met  the pre-                                                               
filing date and  passed a resolution in support of  the bill.  He                                                               
also   mentioned    the   Alaska   Native    Brotherhood   (ANB).                                                               
Representative  Morgan told  the committee  that he  has received                                                               
many phone calls from other Native organizations throughout                                                                     
Alaska that do want to send in resolutions of support.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Number 1153                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COGHILL noted that there were some endorsements included                                                                  
in the committee packet.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Number 1216                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CONNIE DAVIS, daughter of Carol Beery Davis, paraphrased her                                                                    
written testimony [handout included in the committee packet] as                                                                 
follows:                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     I would like to take just  a moment to give you a quick                                                                    
     summary   of  the   family   history.     My   paternal                                                                    
     grandfather  arrived  in Juneau  early  in  1891 for  a                                                                    
     short stay,  ... working for the  Nowell Mining Company                                                                    
     as a bookkeeper.  With  paints, brushes, and canvas, my                                                                    
     grandmother  landed at  the Juneau  docks a  few months                                                                    
     later.   She  planned to  paint Alaskan  scenery for  a                                                                    
     month  or two  ...  .   The  following  year they  were                                                                    
     married in the Log Cabin  church.  Their first home was                                                                    
     on Sixth  Street.  At  that time  it was just  a trail.                                                                    
     And both of these people came from England.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     My mother  came to Juneau  in 1920 to play  the theater                                                                    
     organ for  the silent movies  at the Palace  Theater, a                                                                    
     three-month,  temporary  job   that  lasted  for  seven                                                                    
     years.   By that time,  Marie Drake was a  good friend,                                                                    
     the contest to  choose a flag for  Alaska was underway,                                                                    
     and  my  father  was  a  member  of  the  Final  Awards                                                                    
     Committee to  choose the  flag.   Mother took  notes of                                                                    
     the events  at that time.   Later, she wrote  that once                                                                    
     the  design  was chosen,  Marie  felt  that the  school                                                                    
     children  of  Alaska  would understand  the  historical                                                                    
     event  better if  they had  words to  recite, something                                                                    
     like those  in her head.   The Territorial Commissioner                                                                    
     of Education gave his approval  of her idea, and so the                                                                    
     first step towards a song was born.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     When mother  was approached  to add  a second  verse to                                                                    
     the state song,  she believed that it  was important to                                                                    
     do so, and  that her old friend,  Marie, would approve.                                                                    
     Using the  themes of unity, history,  progress, and the                                                                    
     state's  natural  beauty,  she carefully  composed  the                                                                    
      verse with her enduring love for Alaska.  It was her                                                                      
     last ... gift.  She was 95 years old.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Number 1381                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
DOLORESA  CADIENTE, representing  Camp 2  and the  Grand Camp  of                                                               
ANS, testified before  the committee that she was  the drafter of                                                               
the letter and resolution sent  to Representative Morgan's office                                                               
from ANS  Camp 2 regarding HB  285.  She told  the committee that                                                               
the  Grand Camp  was composed  of 45  camps of  ANB and  ANS from                                                               
Seattle, Southeast  Alaska, and  Anchorage.   The ANB  Grand Camp                                                               
was organized  in 1912 and  the ANS  followed in 1915,  she said,                                                               
but  did  not  formally  organize   until  1923.    Ms.  Cadiente                                                               
mentioned  a convention  held every  November,  where 105  voting                                                               
members  congregate,  including  a president  and  three  elected                                                               
delegates.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS. CADIENTE  stated her support  of HB 285.   She said it  was a                                                               
beautiful  gift to  all people,  for the  State of  Alaska.   She                                                               
said:  "Like  prayer, it will unite us."   She mentioned previous                                                               
comments  by Representative  James  regarding  helping people  to                                                               
have  a change  of  heart through  training,  education, or  life                                                               
experiences.  She expressed her  belief that uniting the cultures                                                               
in the state of  Alaska is a place to start.   She asked that the                                                               
voices  [of ANB/ANS]  be heard  as supporting  the people  of the                                                               
state and valuing the gifts each  of them brings and the strength                                                               
that results.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS. CADIENTE  indicated "sister Connie Davis"  and "sister Connie                                                               
Munro" as members  of the ANS Camp 2.   She emphasized that [ANS]                                                               
was  not just  a  Native organization,  but  was an  organization                                                               
where  friends come  to  support  the mission  of  ANB/ANS.   She                                                               
welcomed  "the family  members of  the  ... second  verse."   Ms.                                                               
Cadiente  told  the committee  she  was  pleased because  another                                                               
"sister" had  come forward in 1987  to bring this verse  before a                                                               
committee and, once again, the  issue was being heard.  Referring                                                               
to a  previous comment  by Representative  James, she  stated her                                                               
belief that the  time was right.   She said:  "This  is the first                                                               
beginning of the first day of the  rest of our lives, and this is                                                               
a way to demonstrate that."                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Number 1570                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  COGHILL  expressed  his  belief that  the  whole  mood  of                                                               
America right  now is one of  reverence and honor, which  has set                                                               
the mood for deciding how to continue  on as a united people.  He                                                               
explained one of the reasons he signed on to the bill:                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     I know  that there  may be  people on  any side  of the                                                                    
     aisle  who might  use  it as  a tool  to  pick at  each                                                                    
     other,  but  I'm  hoping  that what  this  will  do  is                                                                    
     silence them.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Number 1616                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CONNIE MUNRO  came before  the committee and  said a  woman named                                                               
Edie Ebona  (ph) had helped  her attain  the following:   her GED                                                               
[general  equivalency   diploma];  her  college  degree;   and  a                                                               
master's  degree  from   Alaska  Pacific  University,  Anchorage.                                                               
Without  that woman's  help, Ms.  Munro said  she would  not have                                                               
qualified  for the  State of  Alaska's retirement  program.   She                                                               
mentioned "those  words of sharing."   She said that  without the                                                               
help of the  Alaskan Natives she wouldn't be where  she is today.                                                               
As  a 31-year  resident  of  the state,  Ms.  Munro  said she  is                                                               
eligible to be  a pioneer of Alaska.   She stated that  it was an                                                               
honor to belong  to the ANS, which, she pointed  out, was totally                                                               
integrated with "all  different races," as well as  having a male                                                               
judge.    She  said  it  was important  that  all  [Alaskans]  be                                                               
thankful that they live in such a wonderful state.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MS. MUNRO  told the  committee that Carol  Beery Davis  stayed up                                                               
all night  to create  the words  to the  second verse,  which has                                                               
been considered  for years.   Back in the 1970s,  Senator [Frank]                                                               
Ferguson and  Representative Alvin  Osterback were  the "strength                                                               
behind trying to get this done."   She said they were hesitant to                                                               
have a  statewide contest because  of the  cost to the  state and                                                               
because it wasn't  timely.  Since then, Ms.  Munro noted, Senator                                                               
Ferguson was honored  in Kotzebue three years ago,  with a plaque                                                               
and the  singing of "the  song."  When  Ms. Munro was  serving as                                                               
Director of Community Schools and  Adult Education, she said, she                                                               
received requests for copies of both  verses to the flag song, by                                                               
schools across the  state that wanted to perform  them for eighth                                                               
grade and high school graduations.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MS. MUNRO  explained that the  first verse had originally  been a                                                               
poem and  was made into  a song "close  to the dedication."   She                                                               
said the  gold of the  stars represented the gold  extracted from                                                               
the mountains,  which is  "where they were  getting the  money at                                                               
the  time."   She stated  her belief  that a  second, third,  and                                                               
fourth verse would  have been written, had the  words been looked                                                               
at as  a song from the  beginning, and said the  present time was                                                               
right  to [adopt  the  second verse].    She said:    "She was  a                                                               
wonderful  pioneer,  herself,  and  a  very  active  member,  and                                                               
certainly the two mesh beautifully."                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MS. MUNRO told  the committee she has a daughter  who works for a                                                               
coal mine  and formerly worked  for a  gold mine.   She indicated                                                               
that her  family was diverse,  with environmentalists  and miners                                                               
among its  members.   Ms. Munro mentioned  that her  ancestry was                                                               
Italian, French,  and English.   She listed several  other ethnic                                                               
groups that  had come to  Alaska to work  together.  She  said it                                                               
was a  wonderful gift for  her to  come before the  committee and                                                               
thanked its members for their support of HB 285.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Number 1903                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SCOTT   TAYLOR,   Executive  Director,   University   Foundation,                                                               
speaking  via   teleconference,  told  the  committee   that  the                                                               
foundation  holds the  copyright to  both the  original "Alaska's                                                               
Flag" song  and to the  second verse.   He offered to  answer any                                                               
questions from the committee.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Number 1923                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COGHILL  asked Mr. Taylor  to confirm whether  his previous                                                               
statement  to the  committee that  the verse  must be  adopted or                                                               
rejected without amendment was correct.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. TAYLOR said yes.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Number 1956                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  STEVENS  asked Mr.  Taylor  to  describe what  is                                                               
involved in  owning the copyright  to a song  such as this.   For                                                               
example, is  it being  held for  the people  of Alaska,  does the                                                               
University of Alaska  receive any payments for this,  and what is                                                               
the intention of  the University [of Alaska]  Foundation in terms                                                               
of ownership of the copyright of this song?                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Number 1976                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. TAYLOR replied as follows:                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     In  answer to  your  question, we  have  ... three  ...                                                                    
     missions, or  obligations, as a result  of holding both                                                                    
     copyrights.   The first  obligation we  have is  to the                                                                    
     donor who donated the asset  to us, to ensure that it's                                                                    
     used in the way that  they envisioned when they gave it                                                                    
     to us.   Our second obligation is to the  people of the                                                                    
     state  of Alaska,  specifically  for  the first  verse,                                                                    
     since  it   is  part  of  the   state's  patrimony  and                                                                    
     represents the  state's song.  And  our last obligation                                                                    
     is to our own corporation,  to make sure that we manage                                                                    
     the  asset and  not let  it  become wasted.   And  that                                                                    
     would mean  in terms  of a copyright  - if  there's any                                                                    
     copyright infringement.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     More  directly  answering  your  question:    We  would                                                                    
     continue  to do  what we  currently do  with the  first                                                                    
     verse, which  is provide  ... nonexclusive  licenses to                                                                    
     ... just  about anybody who  asks, to use the  song for                                                                    
     commercial or nonprofit  uses.  We have  a policy which                                                                    
     recognizes the three  missions I gave you  and sets out                                                                    
     a fee schedule  for nonexclusive licenses.   We use the                                                                    
     proceeds from those for scholarships for students.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Number 2060                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE FATE  asked Mr. Taylor  when each  copyright would                                                               
expire.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. TAYLOR answered the first  copyright would expire in 2015 and                                                               
is  nonrenewable, having  already been  renewed once.   He  added                                                               
that there had  been a recent change in the  copyright law, which                                                               
may affect that decision.  The  copyright to the second verse, he                                                               
noted,  expires 70  years  from  the date  of  the  death of  the                                                               
author.  Although  Mr. Taylor said he did not  know that date, he                                                               
added that  the original  copyright date  was 1987  and therefore                                                               
the copyright  would be good until  at least 2057.   He concluded                                                               
that  there   was  still  sufficient   time  remaining   on  both                                                               
copyrights.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Number 2130                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
PETE  JOHNSON, member  of the  Christian Labor  Party of  Alaska,                                                               
testified via  teleconference in opposition  to HB 285.   He told                                                               
the committee  he thought the  "Alaska's Flag" song was  fine the                                                               
way it  was.   He mentioned  people with too  much time  on their                                                               
hands  and said  there are  many "real"  issues to  address.   He                                                               
pointed out  that the state  song may  not say much  about Native                                                               
[Alaskans],  but neither  does it  say much  about Vitus  Bering,                                                               
missionaries, "pipeliners,"  or truck drivers, for  instance.  He                                                               
said:  "The culture ... we'd like  to see is the culture based on                                                               
... what  the Founding  Fathers of the  nation put  together, and                                                               
everything else is just kind of a sideshow."                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. JOHNSON  said he was born  in the building in  which he spoke                                                               
and was raised [in Fairbanks].   He made the distinction that his                                                               
remarks were  not intended to be  racist.  He said  he works with                                                               
and knows  Alaskan Natives  and doesn't  "have anything  over any                                                               
one of them."  Mr. Johnson told  the committee he did not want to                                                               
see cultures divided; conversely,  "we should all work together."                                                               
He  mentioned real  enemies  to  Alaska, who  want  to shut  down                                                               
industry  in Alaska  and "keep  people broke."   He  said:   "The                                                               
federal government is against us,  and we've got to work together                                                               
to beat them."                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Number 2243                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COGHILL  commented that the  building in which  Mr. Johnson                                                               
spoke was  the Denali Bank  building in Fairbanks, which  used to                                                               
be the  Saint Joseph's  Hospital, in which  he himself  was born.                                                               
He concurred with Mr. Johnson, in  that he would hate to see this                                                               
issue used to  divide Alaska, and he added that  he would like to                                                               
see it  used to  bring Alaskans together  and honor  one another.                                                               
Chair  Coghill told  the committee  that  Mr. Johnson's  concerns                                                               
were "real  concerns" and  told him  that he  appreciated hearing                                                               
them.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Number 2275                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  FATE  commented that  when  he  had first  become                                                               
aware  of this  issue, but  didn't know  about the  copyright, he                                                               
stated  his opinion  that  the  first two  lines  [of the  second                                                               
verse]  express it  all,  in  their simplicity  and  beauty.   He                                                               
added, for  those who did  not know  him personally, that  "if it                                                               
weren't for the Native people, I  wouldn't have a wife, nor would                                                               
I   have  three   children,   ...  nor   would   I  have   twelve                                                               
grandchildren."                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     REPRESENTATIVE FATE warned that  this issue could cause                                                                    
     some friction and  the committee should be  on guard to                                                                    
     see that  that doesn't occur.   He added that  "to make                                                                    
     this verse work, the way  the first verse works, in its                                                                    
     beauty and  simplicity, for a great  state, we're going                                                                    
     to have  to make it work;  we're going to have  to work                                                                    
     at it ourselves."                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Number 2369                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
INDIA SPARTZ, Guest  Curator for the Alaska  Flag Exhibit, Alaska                                                               
State  Museum, told  the committee  the name  of the  exhibit was                                                               
"Eight Stars of Gold:  The  Story of Alaska's Flag," which is not                                                               
really about  the song.  She  explained that it was  the seventy-                                                               
fifth anniversary of the flag  and she was thrilled to coordinate                                                               
the exhibit.   In  researching the project,  Ms. Spartz  said she                                                               
came  upon  a letter  written  by  William Paul  [Alaskan  Native                                                               
lawyer and  legislator] in 1927,  shortly after Benny  Benson won                                                               
[the flag-designing]  contest.  She  noted that the names  of the                                                               
contestants  were hidden  from the  judges so  they would  not be                                                               
swayed.   Benny Benson was  a boy from  a mission and  an Alaskan                                                               
Native,  and he  wrote [the  narrative explaining  what his  flag                                                               
design  meant].   Ms. Spartz  read an  excerpt [from  the exhibit                                                               
booklet,  included in  the committee  packet]  of William  Paul's                                                               
letter [to Benny Benson]:                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     You have shown that Alaskan Natives can do something.                                                                      
       And if we work hard enough, we can win; we can do                                                                        
     something to change things.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS. SPARTZ said those words "really  stuck out" in her mind.  She                                                               
added  that this  was something  that had  been profound  for the                                                               
Alaska  Native community,  at  a time  when,  only several  years                                                               
before, Native  Americans had  just received  the right  to vote.                                                               
Ms. Spartz noted that the song  and the flag are unique to Alaska                                                               
-  to each  individual and  also to  the Native  community.   She                                                               
agreed with Representative James that  "the stars have lined up,"                                                               
and she told  the committee members that each of  them would have                                                               
to  champion  [the  cause]  and  move it  forward.    Ms.  Spartz                                                               
expressed her belief  that the second verse was  needed, to honor                                                               
[Alaska's]   Native  people,   [Alaska's]  heritage,   and  "this                                                               
wonderful gift we have as a flag."                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Number 2495                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COGHILL  recognized that  there will  be various  points of                                                               
view on this,  and said [Alaska] should  move towards determining                                                               
how to honor one another, rather  than how to divide one another.                                                               
He  said, "This  is not  just about  Natives, and  it's not  just                                                               
about the  non-Natives.  It's about  how we, as Natives  and non-                                                               
Natives,  work  together in  this  great  land."   Chair  Coghill                                                               
pointed  out   that  Alaska  has   always  been  moving   in  the                                                               
aforementioned  direction,  but  outside forces  have  pushed  to                                                               
divide us.   He informed everyone  that one of the  first acts of                                                               
Alaska's Second Territorial Legislature  was to petition Congress                                                               
for citizenship for Alaskan Natives.   That wasn't achieved until                                                               
the 1920s, just before this song was written.  He remarked:                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     I  think  Alaska  has  always looked  to  try  to  walk                                                                    
     together as one  people, equal people.   We've just had                                                                    
     that struggle; that's a societywide  struggle.  So, our                                                                    
     song is  meant to  honor not only  the great  land, but                                                                    
         the great people.  And I think this is a good                                                                          
       addition, if we use it that way.  If it's used to                                                                        
     divide us, then shame on us.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JAMES  related  one   of  her  favorite  sayings:                                                               
"There's nothing  wrong with disagreeing,  but there's  no excuse                                                               
for disrespect."   She expressed the need for  [Alaskans] to work                                                               
together  more  carefully  while  being more  supportive  of  one                                                               
another.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COGHILL  read the words  of the  second verse of  the state                                                               
song, which reads as follows:                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     A Native lad chose the Dipper's stars                                                                                      
     For Alaska's flag that there be no bars                                                                                    
     Among our cultures. Be it known                                                                                            
     Through years the Natives' past has grown                                                                                  
     To share life's treasures, hand in hand,                                                                                   
     To keep Alaska our Great Land;                                                                                             
     We love the northern, midnight sky,                                                                                        
     The mountains, lakes, and streams nearby.                                                                                  
     The great North Star with its steady light                                                                                 
     Will guide all cultures, clear and bright,                                                                                 
     With nature's flag to Alaskans dear,                                                                                       
     The simple flag of the last frontier.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MORGAN thanked the committee.   He then shared the                                                               
following Native prayer:                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     Oh, Great Spirit, please help me with my worst enemy,                                                                      
     which is myself.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MORGAN  closed with some Yupik  words, followed by                                                               
an English translation:                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     Quyana Cakneq. Taugam, Assirtuq. i-ii.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Thank you very, very much.  It's OK.  It's good.  Yes.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Number 2807                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WILSON  moved to  report HB  285 out  of committee                                                               
with individual recommendations and  the accompanying zero fiscal                                                               
note.   There being no  objection, HB  285 was reported  from the                                                               
House State Affairs Standing Committee.                                                                                         

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