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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: communications, ecology, science, oral history, journalism

Timeline: ongoing; one to three years

Grade Levels: 9-12

Purpose: to use local information, resources, and informants to teach students basic skills


Sherie Steele
Traditional Hunter's



Square bullet Activities

  • Compile a list of the most common game animals in your community. Make life-cycle charts of each animal. Label the charts with English, Native, and scientific names for each stage of an animal's life. 
  • Divide the class into groups, each to research one species of animal. Let the group record as much as they themselves know about the animals: where they live, what they eat, how they spend their seasons, changes in coloration, size, relative value to humans, etc. 
  • Compile lists of questions, based on areas where students lack knowledge. Find answers in books and by interviewing hunters, cooks, sewers, and elders. (Book research and interviewing skills must be taught first. Let students practice on each other and on school personnel before interviewing outside of school.) Students may write for written material on their animal. 
  • Compare traditional knowledge to book knowledge. Do they always agree? Which will you trust more when hunting? Why? 
  • How have animal habitats and habits changed over the years according to local informants? How does this alter human lifestyles? How have changes in human lifestyles affected animal populations? 
  • After researching and discussing information gathered, each group should write up a final report using similar formats for each group. These reports will be compiled into chapters of a manual.

Square bullet Resources

  • Foxfire publications for ideas, methods 
  • Chamai: A Curriculum Guide to Community and Culturally Based Communications Skills Development-7-12, Department of Education


  • Write a series of short articles to publish in the school or community newsletter. These articles would give informants and students intermittent feedback and keep interest up, and after two years, they could be compiled in the larger booklet. 
  • Concentrate on one or two animals and divide the work according to a method of research (book, interviews, report writing), research topic (life cycle, historical perspective, human consumption, etc.), or some other division of labor.


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