Teacher's Guide

Protecting Land

Enduring Understandings

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

Estimated Time:

Four class periods

Materials needed:

Link to Cultures unit narrative.

Lesson Plan:

  1. Overview: Read the introduction to Indian-White relations in Alaska located in the Houghton Mifflin Encyclopedia of North American Indians. Use the web site address below to access the Table of Contents of this encyclopedia. Then scroll to the “I” section where the link to “Indian-White Relations in Alaska” is found.
  2. Ask the students to complete the Protecting Land Anticipation Guideprior to beginning the lesson.
  3. Read Willie Hensley’s 1966 article “What Right to Land Have the Alaska Natives?: The Primary Question.” Mr. Hensley recently wrote a foreword to this paper that provides a context for the readers. This context (prior to ANCSA) is important for students to understand. www.alaskool.org/projects/ancsa/WLH/WLH66_1.htm
  4. Students read to find information on the following questions.
    • What is the name of the treaty by which Alaska was purchased by the U.S. government in 1867?
    • What was the status of Alaska Native tribes under the terms of this treaty?
    • What was the concept of land ownership shared by Alaska Native cultures at the time of purchase?
    • How did the 1867 treaty address the issue of Alaska Native land ownership?
    • According to Mr. Hensley, what problems were created over the next 100 years by the lack of clarity in the Treaty of Cessation of 1867.
  5. Read the information in the Encyclopedia of American Indians on “Indian-White Relations in Alaska: Land and Resources.”
  6. Discuss how the information in this text supports Mr. Hensley’s position.Discuss the resolution of the land ownership issue under ANCSA. How was the issue resolved? What were the terms of the resolution? What are the unresolved issues regarding subsistence?
  7. Return to the Anticipation Guide that students completed at the beginning of this lesson. Ask the students to review their responses and note any changes they want to make. Discuss the guide with the students.

Alaska Standards:

Culture: B, D, E
History: E
AK History: AH. ICGP 3


Self assessment of responses and changes to Anticipation Guide.