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Native Pathways to Education
Alaska Native Cultural Resources
Indigenous Knowledge Systems
Indigenous Education Worldwide
 

Athabascan RavenWHOUY SZE KUINALTH
"Teaching Our Many Grandchildren"

 

 

 

Our Natural Resources

STATE STANDARDS 

Geography

E. A student should understand and be able to evaluate how humans and physical environments interact.

F. A student should be able to use geography to understand the world by interpreting the past, knowing the present, and preparing for the future.

Government and Citizenship

G. A student should understand the impact of economic choices and participate effectively in the local, state, national, and global economies.

CULTURAL STANDARDS

E. Culturally-knowledgeable students demonstrate an awareness and appreciation of the relationships and processes of interaction of all elements in the world around them.

Freddy Nicolai Jr. and Shawn Sanford cutting moose nose at Batzulnetas.
© Bill Hess
Freddy Nicolai Jr. and Shawn Sanford cutting moose nose at Batzulnetas.

OBJECTIVES

Students will:

1. learn key terms used to describe and discuss ecosystems: natural resources, renewable and nonrenewable resources, species, threatened species, endangered species, ecosystem and extinction.

2. discover how humans are altering natural resources.

3. determine what obligation we have to protect the environment.

Lesson 

GRADES K -12

Activities:

  1. Students list or draw pictures of the renewable and nonrenewable resources they have used or consumed in the past 24 hours. Classify each as: a) essential for survival, b) necessary for maintenance of their present lifestyle or c) a luxury. Collect the pictures/list and make a bar graph.
  2. Read "Grandfather's Wisdom" (a lesson in survival and the importance of natural resources in our lives). "Grandfather's Wisdom", a tale in the book, According to Grandfather written by Audrey Loftus, tells about a family's struggle to survive their capsizing on the Yukon River and losing all of their belongings except for two knives and a hatchet. Their grandfather's subsistence skills and ties to the land enabled them to survive. Discuss the different resources used by their grandfather. List the various products (ecosystems) that were utilized. Make a poster or book depicting the story as it happened. You could incorporate the message of preserving the land by taking care of the land to ensure that our descendants will be able to survive on the land as our ancestors did. Talk to Elders about local traditional ties to the land.
Derrick Neal, John Nicolai, Freddy Nicolai, and Daniel Nicolai learn how to make baskets from Molly Galbreath.
Derrick Neal, John Nicolai, Freddy Nicolai, and Daniel Nicolai learn how to make baskets from Molly Galbreath.

 Mariah Craig drying salmon strips for winter storage at Batzulnetas.
Mariah Craig drying salmon strips for winter storage at Batzulnetas.

 

 

Chistochina student, Shayne Crow Ghost.
Chistochina student, Shayne Crow Ghost.

3.

Resource Paths

Materials: Enough clay or homemade 'play dough' for each student to create several small objects; three small boxes labeled BURY, BURN and DUMP/LITTER.

Give each student a portion of the clay from a container labeled "earth", and instruct them to use the clay to make models of things that they like to use. Ask students to place their finished product in one of the 3 boxes. Ask: After we burn, bury or throw away something that we like to use, what will happen to it?

Repeat several times to show how our use of raw materials (clay, or salt and flour, in this case) uses up the earth's supply of resources. Continue until the clay or 'play dough' is all used up.

Lead a discussion focusing on what happens after we burn, bury and dump our litter. Discuss what happens when all the materials are gone. Can we get back what has been thrown away? What will happen if we keep taking materials from the earth? What will happen when we run out?

Suggest that instead of throwing the clay away, we reuse it. If we did this with all our garbage, very little would be taken to the landfill and we would not have to take as much from the earth. Ask students for their ideas for alternatives to "burn, bury, dump". Then ask how much time and energy it would take to reuse or recycle.

4.

Research and report on a species currently on the endangered, threatened, or extinct list from the State of Alaska (Local Fish and Game or Wildlife Refuge personnel can also help).

Discussion Ideas:

  1. Give examples of and discuss ecosystems and species.
  2. Do you regularly use products made from nonrenewable resources for which there is an alternative made from a renewable resource?
  3. Are there any luxury items (nonrenewable) you could omit, without a major change in your lifestyle?
  4. What are some examples of unwise resources used in your Village? What can be done to change this use?
  5. What are the consequences of unwise resource use?

Mentasta, Alaska
Courtesy of Barb Dalke
Mentasta, Alaska

Dedication

MSTC Mission Statement

Introduction

Prelude

In A Sacred Manner, by Wilson Justin

Learn & Serve Focus Groups

People icon

ELDERS

DENAEY (PEOPLE)

Interview of Elders

Clans of Chistochina & Mentasta

Why Are We Here?

Who We Are

Land icon

NANINEH (LAND)

Our Way of Life

Mapping the Village

What A Waste

Raw Materials

Our Natural Resources

Weather/Climate

Water icon

TUU (WATER)

Water, Water

Our Watershed

Food icon

C'AAN (FOOD)

Where Does Our Food Come From?

Gathering, Traditions and Nutrition of our Food

Keeping Ourselves Healthy

A Student Led Health Fair

Assessment & Performance Evaluation

Rubrics

Learn & Serve Program

Sources, Resources

Thank You

 
 

Go to University of AlaskaThe University of Alaska Fairbanks is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer and educational institution and is a part of the University of Alaska system.

 


Alaska Native Knowledge Network
University of Alaska Fairbanks
PO Box 756730
Fairbanks  AK 99775-6730
Phone (907) 474.1902
Fax (907) 474.1957
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Last modified August 17, 2006