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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: nutrition, home ec, physical education, environmental sciences

Timeline: one week

Grade Levels: 9-12

Purpose: to provide an experience for student/instructor interaction in an informal open atmosphere; . to foster appreciation of local culture; to include local cultural heritage in the school program


J. and V. Lewis and D. Wernecke
Heritage Campout


Square bullet Activities

  • Recruit community resource people; plan a camping trip.
  • Bring staples: sugar, milk, flour, salt, lard, baking soda, and baking powder.
  • Set up tents.
  • Native teachers and aides and community resource people will help the students put up fish lines and beaver traps.
  • Pick berries, wild tea, and other greens.
  • Clean fish, rabbits, ducks, and muskrat.
  • Make a drying rack and smoker. Dry and smoke fish.
  • Students will cook and clean.
  • Bring extra clothing, blankets, and food in case of emergency; bring a first aid kit:
  • a CB (citizen's band) radio is helpful.

  • During the original project, students learned how to trap rabbits by stalking them with a stick and in a straight line. They learned to identify medicinal plants and how to use them to cure colds and other illnesses. Before dusk our Eskimo dad made games and showed us how to play them. Every night in the main tent, elders told Eskimo stories, and everyone sang songs, held Eskimo language sessions, and discussed history and changing times.

Square bullet Resources

  • hot lunch programs
  • individuals within the village or region who have a particular skill they can share or teach.
  • bilingual programs
  • resource people from regional Native corporations


  • Plan the activity for a shorter period.
  • Plan three weeks in fish camp. Students will handle all aspects of the camping arrangements:

    order food; select site; select staff to instruct and chaperone

    present plans to the school board designate projects to be completed; divide tasks among themselves

    procure equipment; arrange transportation.

  • The selected staff should be familiar with traditional techniques:

    net and snare construction, trapping, smoking and drying

    survival skills, natural medicines, shelter construction.


Village Map and Directory

Land Selection

Local Weather Station

Star Mapping

6" Newtonian Reflecting Telescope Construction

Planetarium Construction

Investigation of Snow Melting

Insulation Experiments: Cardboard Boxes/Snow-Fenced Houses

Durable, Energy-Efficient Homes

Practical Application of Alternative Energy System

Solar Energy Uses

Construction of School/Community Facilities

Bush Shop or How to Learn Carpentry Without Wood

Basic Home Maintenance

Snowmachine Maintenance

Glider Construction (Aviation Shop)

Subsistence Tool Construction

Operating a Trapline, Subsistence Trapline, or Subsistence Net

Survival Skills

Heritage Campout

Netting Fish Efficiently

Natural History

Study of a Food Resource

Effects of Diet on Mice or Rats

Medicinal Plants

Farming the Sea

Summer Marine Science Program

Vegetable Gardening

Greenhouse Construction and Gardening

Chicken Farming

Water Usage Study

Garbage Disposal

Village Dogs

Fire Safety



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