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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: math, business, language arts, accounting

Timeline: 50 minutes in-class planning plus 45 minutes after school and at games

Grade Levels: 9-12

Purpose: to teach students how to start and run a business


L. Dolan



Square bullet Activities

  • Find an area to build a store in the school (e.g., the old coat closet).
  • Order goods (have the students write letters to accompany purchase orders).
  • Anticipate delays in communications with the companies; order early.
  • Anticipate damage from shipping. Mark items up 40% to 50% to cover damaged and lost goods.
  • Practice salesmanship and handling cash.
  • Keep accurate records:
  • students have successfully sold tennis shoes, shorts, shirts for the basketball team, craft projects, mind games, and pop (the big moneymaker).They developed pride in and responsibility for the project. Some wanted to start their own business.

  • Conduct economic analysis af local community.
  • Develop comprehensive business plan.

Square bullet Resources

  • wholesale or retail catalogs
  • wood to build shelving and walls, if necessary
  • Alaska Council for Economic Education for Economics Education: Experiences of Award-Winning Alaska Teachers and Strategies for Teaching Economics
  • Bergman, Todd. (1989). School Based Enterprise Projects: A Reference Resource for Alaskan Educators. University of Alaska Fairbanks, Center for Cross-Cultural Studies/Department of Rural Development
  • Alaska Department of Education. (1988). School-Based Enterprise: A Process Manual
  • Community Enterprise Development Corporation. (1988). How to Start a Village Business. Anchorage


  • Have students establish a business in the community. Ideas include:
  • day care center
    elders service
    garbage collection
    snowmachine repair
    fix-it shop
    local cookbook
    fur factory
    pet and plant service
    tax service
    travel agency
    boat supply
    jam and jelly products
    computer services
    viedo rental
    crafts guild
    greenhouse products
    tutoring service
    sled kits
    gun cleaning service
    diaper service
    firwood service
    tape/CD sales
    recycling service
    foraging products
    tourist services
    snack shop
    call and haul
    film/photo service
    T-shirts/button sales.

  • Provide mail-order services for local producers.


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