Former Sen. Kookesh recovering in Anchorage after heart attack

Mike Dunham

Albert Kookesh, board chairman for Sealaska Corp. and former state legislator, is in Providence Alaska Medical Center after having an apparent heart attack while waiting to board a plane at the Juneau airport on Monday morning.

Early reports listed his condition as critical. In a statement issued Monday afternoon, Sealaska President Chris McNeil said, "We have confirmed with family members that Albert successfully underwent surgery to correct a blockage and is currently resting."

The Alaska Public Radio Network reported that Kookesh, 64, was accompanied to Anchorage by his wife, Sally, and that some of his children are coming to Anchorage to be with him.

Kookesh, from Angoon, was elected to the Alaska State House of Representatives in 1996 and to the Senate in 2004. He lost the seat in the 2012 election.

In addition to chairing Sealaska, he is also the co-chairman of the Alaska Federation of Natives board of directors, a trustee of the First Alaskans Institute and acting President of Kootznoowoo, Inc., the Angoon village corporation.

Reach Mike Dunham at or 257-4332.