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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: language arts, economics, business, typing

Timeline: open

Grade Levels: 6-12

Purpose: to facilitate business-by-mall; to involve students in planning and writing activities either for a community service or to raise money for school projects; to raise money from sources outside the village


J. Bacon and J. and V. Lewis
Mail Order Business



Square bullet Activities

  • Buy by mail; develop a catalog resource center:

    rural Alaskan communities depend heavily on mail order companies to fulfill their shopping needs, but few catalogs are available in the community

    make a list of catalog addresses write letters to request copies of catalogs review catalogs for content and relevance file catalogs by subject headings

    make the resource available to the community at large.

  • Sale by mail; select a saleable commodity from your area (e.g., glass ball net floats; driftwood; moosletoe; jade; tree burns; diamond willow; antler, tusk, tooth jewelry; student artwork):

    determine a price

    advertise in magazines and newspapers and through correspondence to stores or other potential customers

    students can share tasks or specialize in writing ads and letters, filling orders, and keeping books.

Square bullet Resources

  • 4-H publications
  • Cooperative Extension Service
  • Whole Earth catalogs 
  • Tundra Times, Anchorage Daily News, Anchorage Times, other papers 
  • Alaska Magazine (includes ideas on what to sell)
  • Junior Achievement
  • flower shops, gift shops, department stores


  • Work on a catalog resource center as one facet of a library development program. 
  • Catalogs/materials might be ordered in multiples and distributed throughout the community. 
  • Try buying wholesale and selling retail. Look for a product that can be purchased in small quantities, so the amount of risk capital remains small. (One class sold sling shots successfully.)


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