Traditional Lifeways Curriculum Series

Traditional Lifeways is a K-12 cross-cultural curriculum series that combines western science with traditional ecological knowledge. Lessons are based on traditional activities such as hunting, fishing and gathering, using math and science concepts to develop problem-solving and decision-making skills. Originally written for the Upper Kuskokwim region, this place-based curriculum series also includes lessons on rural health issues including sanitation, healthy drinking water and solid waste management. The curriculum meets the Alaska State Content Standards for Math and Science, and the Standards for Culturally Responsive Schools, and was funded through several grants from the Environmental Protection Agency Indian General Assistance Program.

Bird HuntingThe “Bird Hunting in the Upper Kuskokwim, Interior Alaska” unit is composed of five educational lessons: Waterfowl Game, Upland Game Birds, When and Where to Hunt Birds, How to Hunt, and Uses of Game Birds. There are a total of 28 activities included. Educational activities include the Elders sharing on waterfowl and game birds, upland bird spotting field trip, planning for the bird hunt, practicing traditional and modern bird hunting methods, and an Elder’s and experienced hunter’s luncheon.


FishingThe “Fishing in the Upper Kuskokwim, Interior Alaska” education unit is composed of six education lessons with a total of 22 activities. The lessons focus on (1) Fishing in the Upper Kuskokwim Region, (2) Salmon Fishing, (3) Other Fishing, (4) Fishing Techniques from Traditional to Modern (5) Fish Camp-Processing, Preservation, and Use of Fish, and (6) Salmon Regulatory History. Educational activities include the Elders sharing traditional stories, talking about salmon and non-salmon fish, sharing about traditional fishing methods and techniques, going fishing with the students, and helping with fish camp days.


GatheringThe “Gathering in the Upper Kuskokwim, Interior Alaska” education unit is composed of four education lessons with a total of 15 activities. The lessons focus on (1) Plant Gathering in the Upper Kuskokwim Region, (2) Berries, (3) Trees, and (4) Other Plants. Educational activities include the Elders sharing on the history of gathering and how it has changed, traditional stories about gathering, how the plants are used, how to harvest the plants, and how to preserve them.


Moose HuntingThe “Moose Hunting in the Upper Kuskokwim, Interior Alaska” unit is composed of five education lessons: with a total of 28 activities. The lessons focus on Historical Moose Hunting in the Upper Kuskokwim, Tools for Hunting Moose, When and How to Hunt Moose, Uses of a Moose and the Importance of Moose. Education activities include the Elders sharing on the moose, preparing for the moose hunt, reading moose tracks and calling moose, going hunting and an experienced hunter’s and Elder’s luncheon.


TrappingThe “Trapping in the Upper Kuskokwim, Interior Alaska” education unit is composed of four education lessons with a total of 15 activities. The lessons focus on (1) Trapping in the Upper Kuskokwim Region, (2) The Mammals We Trap, (3) Methods, and (4) Fur and Skin Usage. Educational activities include the Elders sharing traditional stories, talking with the students about the habits of furbearing animals; taking students on a local trapline, showing students how to skin and prepare furs, and working with students to sew a fur blanket.


Coming Soon!