Alaska History & Cultural Studies Curriculum

It was determined that course materials for Alaska history and cultural studies would be provided for students and teachers via the web. The decision was made to facilitate student use of the wealth of digitized primary resources that are available on line. Ease of web update and the economics related to printing a textbook were also considerations.

The initial version of the web course was well received by the teachers who piloted it in classrooms throughout the state. Few reported finding it difficult to implement a computer-based course. Many had access to classroom sets of computers or to a LCD projector. Others printed out reading assignments for students or made web-based assignments for completion after ensuring that students had access to a computer.

Alaska Natives make up 25% of the State's student population and 17% of the general population. Since Native people have lived on this land for thousands of years, an immersion into traditional Native cultures was deemed to be important at the beginning of the course. Equally important is a study of critical events in Alaska's history following the coming of the Europeans from the Native perspective. In some cases that perspective differs widely from that of the Caucasian settlers. Knowledge of various perspectives is an effective way to create a climate that supports both the self-determination of Native cultures and can help deal with certain issues the state faces today. This course attempts to integrate important events throughout Alaska's history, from the Native perspective.

In the Alaska's Cultures unit, you will find a series of essays that convey the Native perspective on a variety of topics. These essays are also linked to the subject-appropriate unit narratives to ensure that the Native perspective on a specific topic is considered.