Albert Kookesh Remains Hospitalized In Anchorage

Albert Kookesh
Albert Kookesh

An Alaska Native leader and former lawmaker remained in the hospital Tuesday after suffering a heart attack Monday in Juneau.

Providence Alaska Medical Center in Anchorage listed Albert Kookesh in critical condition as of late Tuesday afternoon.

Kookesh co-chairs the Alaska Federation of Natives and chairs the Sealaska regional corporation’s board of directors.

His family could not be reached for immediate comment. But Sealaska posted an update on its website saying he is resting after undergoing surgery to correct a blockage.

The update says doctors plan to wake him up from sedation Wednesday.

It says his family asked that no flowers be sent because Kookesh is allergic.

The Angoon Democrat served eight years in the House and eight years in the Senate. He lost a re-election bid last year after redistricting separated him from many of the communities he represented.

Kookesh has also been involved in a number of regional and nationwide Alaska Native organizations. He has a law degree and has been a seiner and a store- and lodge-owner.

In a recent interview, he said he was contemplating rejoining the fishing fleet.

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Ed Schoenfeld is Regional News Director for CoastAlaska, a consortium of public radio stations in Ketchikan, Juneau, Sitka, Petersburg and Wrangell. He primarily covers Southeast Alaska regional topics, including the state ferry system, transboundary mining, the Tongass National Forest and Native corporations and issues. He has also worked as a manager, editor and reporter for the Juneau Empire newspaper and Juneau public radio station KTOO. He’s also reported for commercial station KINY in Juneau and public stations KPFA in Berkley, WYSO in Yellow Springs, Ohio, and WUHY in Philadelphia. He’s lived in Alaska since 1979 and is a contributor to Alaska Public Radio Network newscasts, the Northwest (Public Radio) News Network and National Native News. He is a board member of the Alaska Press Club. Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, he lives in Douglas.