The Alaska History & Cultural Studies Website is a resource offered by the Alaska Humanities Forum.

The site will be undergoing a remodel after the 2012/13 school year, please help by providing us with your feedback. Thank you!


History Units
  - Geography
  - Alaska's Cultures
  - Russia's Colony
  - America's Territory
  - Governing Alaska
  - Modern Alaska

Related Stories
  - Things to Know - AK’s Economy (Power Point)
  - Between Worlds
  - Dividing AK, 1867-2000: Changing Land Ownership & Management
  - Trends in Alaska

Field Trips
  - Visit the Alaska State Museum
  - Ride the Alaska Railroad

In the News
  - State pursues ownership of Salcha River
  - Bidders dig deep for rights in NPR-A
  - Volunteer helps Anchorage's growing Hmong population integrate

Teacher's Guide

Regional History
Teacher's Guide
Alaska Native History Acronyms

Enduring Understandings

Alaska Natives exercise self-determination and sovereignty by pursuing the interests of their communities and by trying to influence federal and state policies.

When Alaska Native cultures made contact with Western cultures, protection of their land became an on-going issue.

After contact with Western cultures, Alaska Native cultures gradually developed new political organizations.


  1. Student will become familiar with some terms associated with Alaska Native history and contemporary societies.
  2. Student will become familiar with some trends and themes related to Alaska Native history and contemporary societies.

Estimated Time:

Two Class Periods

Materials Needed:

Lesson Plan:

  1. Teacher prominently displays the list of terms on chart paper for all to see. The list of terms may be adapted to fit the student population and time allocated to lesson.
  2. Students are asked to form small groups and each group is provided with a piece of chart paper and felt pens to make a poster.
  3. Students are asked to examine the list of terms and to establish categories that make sense to them. (Categories might be formed chronologically, geographically, historically, functionally, etc.) After students decide on their categories they will list terms from the chart paper in the appropriate category and record what they know about each term they list. Finally, they will name their categories and sign their poster. (Allow about thirty minutes for this portion of the lesson.)
  4. Encourage students to explore the list and be comfortable with the fact that their knowledge about the terms will vary widely.
  5. The teacher facilitates a conversation on process: What did this activity make you think about? How did it make you feel? Any reactions?
  6. Each group presents their poster. There will be lots of partial knowledge and lots of questions raised that the teacher and students can answer together. Maintaining a sense of humor will encourage students to take risks and maintain a positive attitude. There will be more questions than there will be time for response, but students' curiosity will be activated and their interest engaged.
  7. Conclude the lesson by suggesting that the study of Alaska Native history and contemporary societies should not be segregated from other State history, but should rather be viewed as an integral part of the Alaska story. This lesson has only presented an introduction to significant themes and has perhaps provided a glimpse of a vista that is of such significance that it will reshape students' understanding of Alaska, American society, American government, the law and the world.

Alaska Standards:

Cultural: A, B, D, E

History: A, B, C, D

AK History: AH. PPE 3, AH. ICGP 2, AH. CC 1, AH.PPE 3, AH.ICGP 3, AH. ICGP 7, AH. ICGP 4, AH. ICGP 8, AH. ICGP 11, AH. CC 3, AH. CPD 6, AH. ICGP 3, AH. ICGP 10, AH. ICGP 12, AH. CC 5


View this page as an Adobe PDF file

© Copyright 2004 - 2013 Alaska Humanities Forum
Web site design by Lucid Reverie
For a complete list of acknowledgements, click here.
Please read our Terms and Conditions - Word Document or PDF.