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 This unit on "Dog Salmon" is a small part of what could develop into a huge thematic unit just on salmon. We have chosen only a few ideas to share. The unit is based on the theme of the Alaska Indigenous People's Academy held in Nulato, Alaska this summer. The academic focus of the unit is math/science, but we have also incorporated language arts and technology.

To help make this a fun and practical learning experience, we have the following suggestions for teachers:

1. The teacher should have some knowledge of how salmon is utilized in the local area where they live;

2. This unit is only a sample of what can be done with a salmon unit, teachers should revise and adapt the lessons to fit the community they live in;

3. An Athabascan Elder or someone who speaks the local language should be contacted in advance and be in residence for the entire unit. This person will help with the stories and terminology of salmon;

4. This person in residence may also be able to prepare in advance the fish skins that will be used in the unit; and

5. The teacher must ask three to four local people for permission to visit their "smoke houses".

The teacher will need 3-4 dog salmon, 12-15 whitefish or grayling, and a detailed local river map. We hope you have success in teaching the unit. We have included the Alaska State Standards as well as the Alaska Cultural Standards for your convenience.

Velma Schafer
Joy Simon

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