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July 13, 2018


Marie Greene

Aqqaluk Trust

P.O. Box 509

Kotzebue, AK 99752


For Immediate Release:

Aqqaluk Trust hires Paulette Anigayuk Schuerch as new President/CEO

The Aqqaluk Trust Board of Trustees is pleased to announce that Paulette Schuerch has accepted the position of the president/CEO of the organization.

Aqqaluk Trust is a 501 (c)3 non-profit private foundation. The Aqqaluk Trust was founded in 1989 in honor of Robert Aqqaluk Newlin, Sr., of Noorvik, Alaska; one of Northwest Alaska's great Iñupiat leaders. Robert was the first Chairman of the NANA Board of Directors which he held until his passing in 1989. The foundation first provided scholarship funding for eligible applicants seeking training or pursuing their secondary education and has grown over the years to include revitalization of the Inupiaq language and Cultural Preservation.

Paulette was raised by her late grandparents Alfred and Hannah Wells of Noorvik and her parents Lydia and Mike Scott. She has spent most of her life in the NANA Region, only leaving to further her education and gain experience that has led her to this position. Paulette is a NANA Shareholder and has been back home in Kotzebue for a year.

Paulette has worked for the Northwest Arctic Borough, Maniilaq Association as the Tribal Government Services Administrator and the Administrator for Uttuqanaat Inaat (Elder's Long Term Care) and Teck at the Red Dog mine, most recently she served as the Rural Policy Analyst and Special Advisor on Tribal Affairs for Alaska Governor Bill Walker. Her leadership positions include the City of Kotzebue, City Council member and a Board of Director of the NANA Regional Corporation.

Paulette Schuerch stated “I am a product of the Aqqaluk Trust; through the scholarship program, I was able to earn my Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration with a minor in Public Administration from the Alaska Pacific University in Anchorage, Alaska. I am truly honored to be able to serve in this capacity; Our people have so much potential, and by providing them the necessary tools we can prevail. Being raised in Noorvik by my Aana and Taata, I was fortunate to learn and be the person that I have grown to be. The visionary leadership in the early days of NANA, Maniilaq, Northwest Arctic Borough and the Red Dog mine our people had went beyond their call to ensure that we as children had the best future ahead, this includes Robert's vision he had for us." Robert said “When an Iñupiaq person becomes educated and understands his identity, he can play a vital role and become a leader. Although the Iñupiat has adopted Western ways through education, academic achievements, and enters the workforce, it is for oneself. Since the beginning, the Elders always knew it was to help each other."

Marie Greene, Chairperson stated “On Behalf of the Board of Trustees we welcome Paulette Schuerch to the Aqqaluk Trust, her education, experience and commitment she has to her people will allow her to empower shareholders of NANA through Language, Culture and Education. We look forward to working closely with Paulette as we continue to build Aqqaluk Trust into a self-sustainable future."