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

Curriculum Resources for the Alaskan Environment

Subject Areas: art, business (marketing, public relations)

Timeline: ongoing

Grade Levels: all grades and the community

Purpose: to establish a carving and jewelry making business within the community using local resources


K. Harbeson and Nancy Stringham Buck
Carving and Jewelry


Square bullet Activities

  • Make the objects, then display and market them.
  • Determine the best place for carving; while some carvers will work in their homes, others will prefer a central location with perhaps the use of power tools. The school shop is one possibility-if you choose it, set up hours for working.
  • Acquire a place within the community to display the carvings and jewelry pieces. If a separate building is not available, a store or someone's home are alternatives.
  • Elect a board of directors from the community to establish price controls and quality controls on products sold through the co-op.
  • Acquire a business license for the co-op and decide upon a name for the business.
  • Market the products through direct sales and mail orders. Have business listed in Source Directory, a directory of Native-owned and -operated arts and crafts businesses.

Square bullet Resources

  • carvers and jewelry makers in the community
  • local resources: bone, baleen, ivory, shells, stones, soapstone, feathers, etc. 
  • The Source Directory
  • Cross-Cultural Arts in Alaska
  • Sculpture of the Eskimos
  • booklets from craft stores and lapidary shops
  • Alaska Native Arts and Crafts Board


  • If jade is available, gather it cut and polish gems. 
  • Purchase silver/gold chains; include in cost assessment. 
  • Work can be sold through arts and crafts stores in major Alaskan cities-look up addresses in phone book-however, these stores usually expect a 50% markup on profit. 
  • Work can be sold to independent buyers who will also make a profit when the work is resold. 
  • Sell work at regional or urban bazaars, or hold a sale at the end of each school quarter.


Carving and Jewelry Co-Op

Fund-Raising: Concessions/Raffle/Auction/T-Shirt Sales

Rummage Sales

Mail Order Business

School-Based Enterprises

Café Operation

Open House

Community Use of School Library

Village Recreation

Guest Speakers


Local Livelihood

On-the-Job/Cooperative Education

College Preparation

Teacher's Aide Training

Managing Community Affairs

Land Claims Brainstorming

The Corporation Game or Alaska Monopoly

Reconveyances: ANCSA Studies

Resource Development Options

City Council Meeting Simulation

Mock Board of Directors Meeting

REAA School Board Trip

Your Village

Family Tree

Village Archaeology

Building Traditional Dwellings

Cultural Heritage Projects

Traditional Hunters Manual

Ethnic Dinners

Following the Iditarod Dog Race

Visit to the Tribes

Trip to Mexico

Cross-Country Skiing

Firearms Handling

First-Aid Training

Christmas Shopping      



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
Questions or comments?
Last modified August 17, 2006