Curriculum Document

Curriculum Document PDF


This curriculum document provides an outline for teaching important subject matter related to Alaska Native civics and government to high school students in Alaska. The development of this document was inspired by the current deficit of these subjects in Alaskan high school curricula statewide. This subject matter is highly relevant to Alaskan students, particularly Alaska Native students, in that it covers historical events, themes, and other topics that have direct application to their lives and/or adds to their understanding of social, political, and legal structures that surround them. Learning about the topics included in this curriculum will prepare Alaska Native high school students for leadership and involvement in institutions and organizations within their communities and statewide, such as Alaska Native corporations and tribal governments. Non-Alaska Native high school students will also benefit from a greater understanding of this history and these institutions that are major components of Alaskan society.

The subject matter is organized into six broad content areas, labeled “units.” Each unit includes several specific content areas, labeled “lessons,” that fall under the broader unit topic. The main component of each lesson is the learning objectives for students. This document does not provide materials or instructions for teaching the subject matter, but is meant to serve as a guide for educators to use in building lesson plans. However, ideas and suggestions for developing lesson plans have been included within each lesson as resources for educators. Six educational videos based on each of the unit topics in the curriculum have also been developed as resources for educators, along with a list of books, videos, articles, and websites that cover information related to the curriculum subject matter. Unfortunately, textbooks and other teaching materials for this curriculum do not yet exist, but much of the information and resources needed to implement this curriculum are available on the Internet, many of which have been listed in the database provided with this document. Lastly, because the subject matter included in this curriculum document is both extensive and complex, it is suggested that this curriculum be taught throughout the course of an academic year.

Note to Teachers: Throughout the curriculum document the language “students understand” is commonly used in the learning objectives for each lesson. It is intended that teachers develop and implement their own tools for measuring students’ understanding of the concepts in the learning objectives.


Unit 1: Tribal Sovereignty – Alaska

Lesson 1: Sovereignty and the Doctrine of Discovery

Lesson 2: Marshall Trilogy

Lesson 3: Plenary Powers of Congress

Lesson 4: Treaties/Indian Reservations/Indian Country

Lesson 5: Federal Trust Responsibility

Lesson 6: How is Alaska Different?

Unit 2: Tribal Governments – Alaska

Lesson 1: Indian Reorganization Act (IRA)/Wheeler-Howard Act

Lesson 2: Federal Recognition of Tribes

Lesson 3: What Do Tribal Governments Do?

Lesson 4: Tribal Courts

Unit 3: Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA)

Lesson 1: Alaska Native Land Claims Movement

Lesson 2: Alaska Native Corporations

Lesson 3: Shareholders

Lesson 4: ANCSA Land/Profit Sharing

Lesson 5: What Do ANCSA Corporations Look Like Today?

Unit 4: Subsistence

Lesson 1: What Is Subsistence?

Lesson 2: Alaska Native Subsistence Rights

Lesson 3: Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA) Title VIII

Lesson 4: Katie John Cases

Lesson 5: Alaska Natives and Marine Mammal Hunting

Unit 5: Alaska Native Regional Non-Profit Organizations

Lesson 1: What Are Alaska Native Regional Non-Profit Organizations?

Lesson 2: Tribal Contracting/Compacting

Lesson 3: What Roles Do Regional Non-Profits Play in the Community/Region?

Unit 6: Current Alaska Native Political Issues

Lesson 1: Current Status of Tribal Sovereignty in Alaska

Lesson 2: Subsistence

Lesson 3: International Organizations/Issues