NWABSD Inupiaq Studies Curriculum

(about this curriculum)


Develop an awareness of the geography of Alaska and the NANA region. Identify important geographical features of Alaska.

-Locate on a map the major land forms of Alaska.

-Locate on a map major rivers and bodies of water.

-Describe important climatic regions of Alaska.

-Identify important resources found in each area of Alaska.

    ANCSA video; 1991 video

Ipani (J. Wells); New Paths, Old Ways

Regional Maps (USGS)

Selected Readings for Inupiaq Studies (P. Ongtooguk)

"Current Events"; "Tundra Times"

  Identify important geographical features of the NANA region.

-Locate on a map major rivers and bodies of water of the NANA region.

-Locate on a map important land forms and locations of the NANA region.

-Locate on a map important archaeological sites and current village locations of the NANA region.

    "National Native News" (KOTZ Radio

Alaska Blue Book (Dept. of Education)

Develop a knowledge of pre-contact Inupiaq culture Explain how man came to the Americas.

-Explain four theories describing how man came to the Americas; debate possibilities of each.

-Explain how glaciation affected life and land in the Northern Hemisphere.

-Explain the Bering Land Bridge Theory.

-Locate on a map and date important early archaeological digs in North America.

    Ancient Men of the Arctic by J.L. Giddings

Kotzebue Basin (Alaska Geographic)

  Describe how and when and where proto-Eskimos arrived in Alaska

-Explain types of archaeological sites found in Alaska and methods for dating these sites; create a classroom display of locally collected artifacts.

-List and explain the four factors (language, physical features, location and ties to the sea) by which anthropologists identify a group as being "Eskimo."

-Explain and give evidence for or against the four theories explaining how the first Eskimos arrived in Alaska.

  Write to a school in the Soviet Far East for analogous information. Handbook of North American Indians (Smithsonian Inst.)
  Identify the five major periods (traditions) of pre-contact Inupiat history.

-Define what a tradition is.

-Explain the time period of, location of, technology of, and culture of the following traditions and peoples:

a. American Paleo-Arctic Tradition

  a. American Paleo-Arctic Tradition

b. Northern Archaic Tradition: Denbigh People, Choris People

c. Norton Tradition: Old Whalers, Ipiutak

d. Northern Maritime Tradition: Okvik culture, Punuk culture, Birnik culture, Thule (Eastern and Western)

-Locate on a map the archaeological sites which represent each of the above traditions and cultures.

-Create a classroom timeline containing each of the above traditions and be able to locate each tradition on the timeline.

-Explain how and why a tradition disappears or evolves; give examples.

    Ancient Men of the Arctic by J.L. Giddings
  Describe traditional Inupiat lifestyles in pre-contact Alaska.

-Retell ancient Inupiat legends and stories.

-Compare Inupiat creation legends to those of other Native American groups.

-Identify tools and survival techniques of traditional Inupiat people; compare and contrast to modern tools and techniques.

-List subsistence activities of the Inupiat during the yearly cycle of life.

-Compare traditional cycle of life to modern subsistence cycle.

    Kobuk River People by J.L. Giddings

People of the Kawerak by William Okalliak

Hunters of the Northern Ice and Shadow of the Hunter by Richard Nelson

Develop an under- standing of how Inupiat life changed during the period of initial contact. List Maniilaq's predictions of changes to come.

Outline Russian, English, and American exploration of the NANA region.

-Describe the voyages of Kotzebue and Shishmaref to the Kotzebue Sound region and locate on a map.

-Describe the explorations of the Kobuk and Noatak Rivers.

  Describe the missionary effort in the NANA region and its effects on Inupiat life.

-List and locate on a map the missionary groups which were active in Alaska by 1900.

-Explain how the first missionaries came to Kotzebue and how they affected and continue to affect the life of the people there.

-Develop a scenario of what life in the NANA region would be like without the influence of missionaries.

    Tomorrow is Growing Old (Friend's Church)
  Relate the influence that Yankee whalers had on Native people of northern Alaska.

-Identify the products produced by commercial whalers.

-List trade items made available to Natives by Yankee whalers and the effects these had on the Native population.

-List the effect of commercial walrussing.

-Describe commercial whale hunting by Native Alaskans and how it changed population patterns.

  Define and identify examples of social Darwinism as it relates to Alaskan Natives.

-Define what Social Darwinism is.

-Identify examples of Social Darwinism in reading selections.

-Identify examples of Social Darwinism in their own lives.

  Describe the Great Kobuk Gold Rush and its effects on the people of the NANA region.

-Read firsthand accounts of prospecting experiences.

  Describe the changes which took place in the village life of the NANA region.

-List the reasons for the formation of permanent villages and describe the formation of one's own village.

-Describe the changes which took place in hunting techniques.

-Describe the changes which took place in family life.


To understand important political and economic issues facing Native Alaskans in the 1980's. Describe the relationship between the federal government and Native Americans during the period between 1787 and 1975.

-Compare the views toward the land of Native Americans to those of European settlers.

-List the justifications that European settlers used to take Native American lands.

-Describe the treaty process and its problems.

-Describe the role that John Marshall played in determining Native right to their land.

-Define the following terms: assimilation, aboriginal title, indigenous people, extinguishments of title, termination, sovereignty, allotment and reservations.

-Describe the terms of and the effects of the following Congressional actions: Indian Removal Act (1830), General Allotment Act (1887), Indian Reorganization Act (1934), Indian Self-Determination Act (1975).

-Explain the effects of the termination policy of the 1950's and 1960's and list the effects it had on a particular tribe.

-List tribal sovereignty powers as determined by the courts.

  Describe the process by which the land claims issue was settled.

-Identify and explain the portions of the following congressional actions which affected Native land claims: 1867 Treaty of Cessions; 1884 Organic Act; 1906 Native Allotment Act; 1926 Native Townsite Act; 1959 Alaska Statehood Act.

-List and locate on a map the reservations created in Alaska between 1891 and 1950.

-Describe the effects that World War II had on Alaska and Alaska Native Lands.

-List and describe the issues which confronted Native Alaskans during the 1960's--Project Chariot, hunting rights, state land selections, Rampart Dam--and the Native regional organizations which were created to deal with above issues.

-Describe the founding of the AFN and list prominent Native leaders of the 1960's; write brief biographies of the Native leaders.

-Compare and contrast land claims settlement proposals made between 1967 and 1970.

  Describe the terms of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (1971).-Describe the general land settlement portions of the Act.

-Describe the general money settlement portion of the Act.

-Describe the creation of the Native regional corporations.

-Locate on a map the 12 regional corporations.

-Describe the creation of profit village corporations.

  -Describe the non-profit arms of the regional corporations.

-Describe services that Maniilaq provides.

    Maniilaq Annual Report; NANA Annual Report
  Describe the implementations of the ANCSA.

-Identify on a map the land selections (surface and subsurface) made by the NANA Corporation.

-List the investments made by NANA.

-Read and understand a corporate financial statement.

-Describe the economic effects of ANCSA on various regions.

  List and describe important issues facing Native Alaskans during the 1980s: Subsistence, 1991 Amendments, Sovereignty, Corporations, and Land.


  -Describe subsistence activities within their own village.

-List and describe state and federal involvement subsistence regulations. (example: Whaling)

-Identify future subsistence issues.

-Survey the role that subsistence plays in one's own village.


-Describe threats to Native lands.

-Explain some possible solutions for the threat to Native lands.

-List the main points of the 1991 Amendments passed by Congress and how these amendments serve to protect lands and what dangers remain.

-Survey community on possible solutions to the issue of "New Natives."


-Describe the historical justification for Native American sovereignty.

-Describe examples of Native sovereignty in Alaska.

-Explain how the issue of sovereignty has been dealt with at the federal and state level.

-Describe the kinds of local governments and their powers as they currently exist in Native communities.


-Describe the current status of their own regional corporation.

-Explain the role of the Native regional corporation in the economic future of the NANA region.

-Discuss effects that Red Dog has had on their community.

-List the responsibilities of individual stockholders in a regional corporation.


-Describe the current threats which exist to Native owned land.

-Describe the resource management policy of NANA.

-Describe the management of land at the federal and state level of land in the NANA region.

-Speak with local and regional people involved with the management of land in NANA region.

    "People in Peril" reprint (Anchorage Daily News)