Place Based Education - Resources for Southeast Alaska Educators

Chilkat Spirit by Mike A. Jackson

Ecological Resources

Orion Society
The Orion Society publishes two popular book series as well as other educational offerings in formats that are tailored to classrooms and reading groups as well as the general reader. Orion books feature exceptional original writing by some of America's most influential writers and educators on a wide array of subjects.

Planet Drum

Planet Drum was founded in 1973 to provide an effective grassroots approach to ecology that emphasizes sustainability, community self-determination and regional self-reliance. In association with community activists and ecologists, Planet Drum developed the concept of a bioregion: a distinct area with coherent and interconnected plant and animal communities, and natural systems, often defined by a watershed. A bioregion is a whole "life-place" with unique requirements for human inhabitation so that it will not be disrupted and injured. Through its projects, publications, speakers, and workshops, Planet Drum helps start new bioregional groups and encourages local organizations and individuals to find ways to live within the natural confines of bioregions.

Discovery Southeast
Founded in 1989 as a nonprofit educational organization, Discovery Southeast has grown into the region's leading source for natural history and conservation education.

What Lies Beneath: Responding to Forest Development Plans: A Guidebook for First Nations
By Doug Hopwood (available in pdf or book format)

This is a guidebook for First Nation technicians, researchers and decision makers. It was published by the Aboriginal Mapping Network in British Columbia, Canada.

The Herman Kitka Traditional Ecological Knowledge Series

"Tlingit traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) is the product of generations of learning and experience with the lands, waters, fish, plants, wildlife, and other natural resources of Southeast Alaska. As Sitka elder Herman Kitka Sr. shows, Tlingits were trained from an early age to be aware of and respect the community of living beings that surrounds them. This meant learning not only how to hunt, fish, gather and process key subsistence foods and other necessities, but also how to understand the behavior and roles of other species in the ecosystem, and how to successfully interact with them in sustainable ways. This knowledge was not gained in a classroom but largely passed down by elders through oral histories, songs, crafts, and practical training. With maturity, one's TEK continues to grow in unique ways through reflection and experience on the land. We were very honored and fortunate to have Herman Kitka join our class in 1996 and share with us some of the knowledge and wisdom he has gained from his Tlingit education and a lifetime of living off the land in a century of profound change. We hope that you, too, will benefit from the teachings we have excerpted and indexed in these audio and video modules, and that you will respect its sources and the richness and relevance of Tlingit ways of knowing. GunalchÈesh."
--Tom Thornton


Ecotrust, based in Portland, Oregon, with offices in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, Juneau, Anchorage and Cordova, Alaska, has produced a number of place-based education resources.


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