Traditional Lifeways: Trapping

Historically the First People of the Upper Kuskokwim trapped and traded with other tribes, then the Russians came and fur-trading began with outsiders. Later the Americans brought changes to the fur trade along with schools, clinics and mapping. Today there is more competition for land use and less time for working the trap lines. Yet trapping is still an important activity among native peoples.

Traditional Lifeways Curriculum: TRAPPING, provides multiple charts and maps which are used in many of the fact-finding and math activities such encouraging the development of skills necessary for problem-solving and the understanding of the interdependence between living things and their environment.

The curriculum offers accurate descriptions of each animal with photographs and clip art. Students are to make their own field guide by using large index cards on which they record information learned from the elders and other trappers about the animals and methods of trapping. Elders are invited to share traditional stories, to read books aloud which are written in the Athabaskan dialect and to teach the correct pronunciation of the UK names of fur-bearing animals. Native Language beaver vocabulary charts are included in the guide.

Many other appropriate activities are suggested. The curriculum contains extensive resource information and meets the criteria for Culturally Responsive Schools and the Alaska State Education Standards for Math and Science.

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