10 Aug CITC Welcomes Larry Oskolkoff as Tribal Partnerships Manager
New manager will offer guidance to tribes applying for grants, in addition to other support
Thirteen years ago, Larry Oskolkoff worked for an employer who was curious about his Native heritage.
“He was white, born and raised in Soldotna, but he was just so fascinated by my history, my culture, my people,” Larry recalled. “I remember sitting there, thinking, This guy is so much more into this than I ever was.”
That moment was the beginning of Larry’s own expanding exploration of his heritage. Tied to Ninilchik through his father’s side of the family, Larry was born and raised in Anchorage; without his father around when he was young, he grew up feeling disconnected to his Native culture and history.
Years after that encounter with his employer, Larry focused his career on working in the Alaska Native community. After a career as a life insurance agent, he joined Ninilchik Native Association as the business development manager. Working for his tribe, alongside his uncle, Greg Encelewski, and his cousin, CITC Board Chair Ivan Encelewski, gave Larry a new perspective on his personal history.
“I learned a lot of positive things about my own father and, over the last few years, I’ve done a lot of exploration about myself,” he shared. “I’ve realized, this is where I come from. I share a name with my grandfather, Larry Oskolkoff, who was a leader in the movement to pass the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act.”
Now, Larry has joined CITC as the manager of Tribal Partnerships. In his new position, he will foster open communication between CITC and our tribal partners throughout the Cook Inlet region.
As part of CITC’s growing staff, Larry is excited to work with colleagues who have a passion for serving Alaska Native people and who are just excited about Alaska Native history and culture as he is.
“Even the CITC employees who don’t have direct ties to Native heritage have a passion for that culture,” he remarked. “If I had come into this opportunity ten years ago, I would have been grateful for it, but I would not have understood it. I’m definitely getting a much deeper sense of my culture and heritage now, and I hope to keep growing my knowledge as I work closely with our tribal partners.”
Larry lives in Anchorage with his wife, son, and daughter. In addition to working with Cook Inlet region tribes, he has an interest in STEM education and CITC’s Fab Lab-based programs, as well the work done through CITC’s Recovery Services department.
To learn more about CITC’s tribal partnerships, visit citc.org/board-of-directors.