The NANA Board of Directors is saddened by the loss of fellow board member, Alasuk Charlie Curtis, who passed away on May 10, 2022 at the age of 72. Alasuk served multiple terms on the NANA board totaling 19 years.
“Alasuk had been a longtime champion of NANA. He had a tremendous vision of our shared success. His passing is a great loss for the corporation and its shareholders. On behalf of the board of directors, we send our heartfelt condolences to his wife Cheryl, and to his family and friends,” said Utuktauraq Ely Cyrus, NANA Board Chair.
Alasuk had over 40 years of experience in management and leadership roles. He served as a director from 1985 to 1992, 2005 to 2008, 2009 to 2015 and from 2018 until his death in 2022.
“It was a privilege to know Alasuk personally and to work alongside him,” said Aġnaaqłuk John Lincoln, NANA President and CEO. “He was highly respected both as a person and as a leader, and he had a major impact on all of us at NANA. He will be greatly missed.”
In 1992, Alasuk was named president of NANA and held that post until he retired in 2001. Under his leadership, NANA profits increased by 500 percent. Revenue grew from $38 million in 1992 to $176 million in 2000. Alasuk continued his tenure with NANA, working as chief strategic officer and in Indigenous engagement for NANA Pacific LLC.
Alasuk had been the finance director for the Northwest Arctic Borough, as well as a city and tribal administrator. He was born in Kotzebue on February 11, 1950. He lived in Kotzebue and in multiple villages in the region.
During the Vietnam War, he served in the U.S. Navy from 1969 to 1973.
Alasuk was admired for his hard work and his service to our people and our country. He was curious and quick-witted. He had a strong faith and a great love for his family. He was once quoted, “We succeeded in the past by working together, and we can only succeed in the future by honoring the values of the past — treating people, the lands and resources with dignity and respect.”
The service in Anchorage will take place Wednesday, May 25, at 2 p.m. at ChangePoint Church, located at 6689 ChangePoint Drive. The service in Kiana is on Saturday, May 28, 2022, at 2 p.m. at the Kiana Friends Church.