Teacher's Guide

Alaska Natives and Health

Enduring Understandings

The transformation of the health care system by Alaska Natives illustrates the integration of traditional and modern cultural practices.

Estimated Time:

Two class periods

Materials needed:

Cultures Unit Narrative

Lesson Plan:

  • Research the 1975 American Indian Self-Determination and Education Assitance Act. What was the significance of the act? What was one of the benefits of this Act to Alaska Natives? Characterize the health care received by Alaska Natives prior to the 1975 Act. Describe the health care system in Alaska, as operated by Alaska Natives.
  • Read the introduction to Della Keats located on the Alaskool web site at the address provided below.
    Alaskool - Della Keats
  • Watch the video on the Alaskool web site about Della Keats entitled "Hands, head and Health." Ask students to listen to find information about the following: What are the traditional beliefs that Della Keats practices? What are the modern beliefs that Della Keats practices?
    Audio-Visual Resource List
  • Explore the Maniilaq web site to learn more about how one organization in Alaska has created a health care system following the 1975 American Indian Self-Determination Act. What types of services are offered? How are traditional practices and beliefs incorporated?
    Maniilaq Association
  • Ask the students: What other ways can you think of that illustrate how aspects of traditional knowledge can be integrated with today's knowledge? What are the Native health care services provided in your region and community? What information is provided on their web sites?

Alaska Standards:

History: A, B, C, D
Culture: A, B, D, E
AK History: AH. CC 3, AH. PPE 3, AH. CPD 6