Grade 7

Grade 7

Voices on the Land

Voices on the Land provides literacy-based, artist residencies in 4th and 5th grade classrooms, with Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian languages and cultural values forming the basis of instruction. The program integrates visual, performing, and digital arts with traditional knowledge. Through the experience, students use storytelling to create stop motion animation videos; learn the elements of Northwest Coast formline design, while keeping an artist’s journal and making a traditional drum; and use the skills of the actor’s toolbox and reader’s theater to explore and perform Raven Stories handed down through the ages. Voices on the Land also provides an in-person summer and winter arts intensive program for students in grades 4-8, as well as a virtual summer intensive program for students in grades 4-8 who live outside of Juneau.

Juried Youth Art Exhibit

SHI sponsors a biennial Juried Youth Art Exhibit, which is held in conjunction with Celebration, a major dance-and-culture festival organized by SHI. The program is part of an effort to increase the number of young artists making high-quality pieces and sharing their work with the public. Cash awards are made to schools of the winners for art supplies to be used by schools or organizations for future instruction in Northwest Coast art. All youth who chose to exhibit receive a specially-made Juried Art Show t-shirt, and winners also receive a certificate. The competition is open to all youth in grades 6-12. The exhibit is held in June every even year.

Science for Language Development: Book 2: Grade 7

Integrating culturally responsive place-based content with language skills development for curriculum enrichment. This unit is designed to develop the language of science with the students. The units include motivating activities to help the students retain the key vocabulary. The unit is based on the Developmental Language Process, a highly effective vehicle for teaching and learning. Watch an informative video about the process in the reference section down below.

Science for Language Development: Book 1: Grade 7

Integrating culturally responsive place-based content with language skills development for curriculum enrichment. This unit is designed to develop the language of science with the students. The units include motivating activities to help the students retain the key vocabulary. The unit is based on the Developmental Language Process, a highly effective vehicle for teaching and learning. Watch an informative video about the process in the reference section down below.

The Road to ANCSA: The Persistence of Native Culture: Unit 10: Grade 7

Although facing many pressures over the years, Native culture has persisted in Alaska. This was due to many dedicated people and groups who kept Native heritage alive. The Alaska Native Brotherhood originally promoted efforts to suppress Native language and traditions. However, the organization led the revival of aboriginal culture by adopting traditional rules, procedures, and protocol for their meetings. By the late 1980s, the Tlingit language was spoken only by people over the age of 50. Nora Dauenhauer and several respected traditional scholars offered Tlingit language classes and developed curriculum materials. Although children are no longer speaking Tlingit as their first language, they continue to sing Tlingit songs in dance groups, learn cultural traditions at culture camps, and experience firsthand the vibrancy of their Native culture in action at ku.éex’, totem pole raisings, and other celebrations.

The Road to ANCSA: Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act: Unit 9: Grade 7

In 1971, the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) was passed by Congress. The act extinguished aboriginal title for Alaska Natives. In return, Alaska Native people were compensated $1 billion and were allowed to retain ownership of 44 million acres of land. However, it is important to note that this means Alaska Natives had to give up the rest of the land (380.5 million acres), which was not granted to the corporations, for less than $3 an acre. The original legislation called for creation of twelve profit-making regional corporations and paved the way for approximately 239 village corporations to oversee the money and land. Although Haines, Petersburg, Ketchikan, Tenakee Springs, and Wrangell were historically Tlingit villages, they were not allowed to establish village corporations because their populations were mostly non-Tlingit or there were less than twenty-five Native residents living there at the time. A later ANCSA amendment allowed Ketchikan to form a corporation and receive land. Haines, Petersburg, Wrangell and Tenakee have not yet received lands.

The Road to ANCSA: Central Council of the Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska: Unit 8: Grade 7

The Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska (CCTHITA) was founded in 1935 and was the first federally recognized tribal government representing the Tlingit and Haida people. It was founded in response to efforts and actions undertaken by the Alaska Native Brotherhood and Sisterhood in their effort to obtain a representative and federally recognized tribal government. An initial function of the Central Council was to bring suit against the United States for aboriginal claims. The Central Council believed the federal government had unfairly taken lands from Native people in Alaska when it created the Tongass National Forest, Glacier Bay National Monument, and the Annette Island Reservation. The Central Council believed the land taken from the Tlingit and Haida was worth $80 million. The government valued the land at $3 million. A court-appointed commissioner estimated the land to be worth $16 million. The Tlingit and Haida were only awarded $7.5 million, however, as it was all the government was willing to pay. William L. Paul, the first Alaska Native lawyer, noted that the value of the timber sold from their forests totaled more than $600 million alone and recommended an appeal. But in 1968 the Central Council accepted the award. Claims for the remaining 2.5 million acres, which included hunting and fishing grounds, were carried over to the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971.

The Road to ANCSA: Indian Rights Movement: Unit 7: Grade 7

The Alaska Native Brotherhood was founded in 1912. Originally, there were thirteen members: twelve men and one woman. By the mid-1920s, there were chapters, or camps, in many Tlingit villages, and an affiliate organization, the Alaska Native Sisterhood. The brotherhood and sisterhood fought for the rights of Alaska Natives. Their efforts were helped when brothers Louis and William Paul joined the brotherhood. These two men led many of the legal and political battles for the organization.

The Road to ANCSA: Land Rights: Unit 6: Grade 7

In 1880, Chief Kaawaa’ee, a Tlingit of the Aak’w Kwáan, led Joe Juneau and Dick Harris to gold. Prior to the gold find, the non-Native population in Alaska was less than 400. After the discovery, thousands of miners and settlers arrived. This put pressure on Tlingit land. The Organic Act of 1884 established a land district (a type of administrative land division) and branches of government in Alaska. The law gave title to land held by non-Native people in the new territory, but did not allow Alaska Natives to acquire title to their land. The first duty of the new land office was to give legal title to mining claims. A number of Tlingit people attempted to file mining claims, but were denied because they were not United States citizens. Although the Tlingit still owned southeast Alaska under aboriginal title (a common law doctrine that the land rights on indigenous people persist even after settler colonialism), they did not benefit from wealth generated by the mineral resources

The Road to ANCSA: Education: Unit 5: Grade 7

The Organic Act of 1884 established schools in Alaska for all children. The schools were set up “for the education of children of school age in the Territory of Alaska, without reference to race.” Sheldon Jackson, a Presbyterian missionary, was the general agent of education in Alaska. He used $25,000 provided by Congress to pay for mission schools set up for Native children. Federal subsidies for church-run schools continued until 1895, when the Bureau of Education assumed control of many Alaskan schools. The United States educational policy was to “civilize” Native children. In school, there were many rules in place that prevented Native children from speaking their traditional language. Often times, corporal punishment was used to discourage Native children from practicing their traditional culture. In 1905, the Nelson Act passed which also established two separate systems of education. The federal government was responsible for Native education, while the territorial government controlled white education.

The Road to ANCSA: Kohklux Map: Unit 4: Grade 7

Kohklux’s map is the earliest known recording of southwestern Yukon. It portrays three-dimensional views of mountains along rivers and lakes that are clearly recognizable. The map is scaled—not in distance, but in the number of travel days between points. It also contains information about caches, villages, events, and living conditions. The map indicates an extensive knowledge of the land and the people. This knowledge was likely gathered from several sources, including both oral history and firsthand experience.

The Road to ANCSA: Navy Rule: Unit 3: Grade 7

The 1880 treaty was a typical federal policy and practice that failed to recognize Indian land ownership and functioned to transfer power to American hands. The Navy altered the Tlingit way of life in many ways. For example, the Navy told the Tlingit of American ownership of their former lands and introduced new rules around land ownership and usage. Prior to American confiscation of Tlingit lands, each clan owned and controlled specific geographical areas, and set guidelines for hunting and fishing. In 1881, Commander Henry Glass promoted the signing of a formal peace treaty between the Stikine Tlingit at Wrangell and the Xutsnoowú Tlingit at Angoon. This agreement contained language that regulated Tlingit hunting and fishing, and removed Tlingit jurisdiction and control over their former lands. The Navy also displaced Tlingit people from their traditional homeland, which violated the 1867 Treaty of Cession.

The Road to ANCSA: Treaty of Cession: Unit 2: Grade 7

In 1867, Russia signed the Treaty of Cession which governed the sale of Alaska to the United States for $7.2 million. The Tlingit people living in Alaska were upset with the deal. They kept their independence during the Russian occupation and believed they owned the land of Southeast Alaska. Several councils of Tlingit clan leaders met to discuss their objections to the sale. In 1869, the clan leaders registered an official complaint with the United States Treasury Department that Alaska was sold without their consent. This effort was the beginning of Tlingit and Haida legal efforts and diplomacy to obtain title to their land.

The Road to ANCSA: First Contact: Unit 1: Grade 7

Alaska History Timeline Narrative Writing pieces from: The Coming of the First White Man by George R. Betts. (Dauenhauer, Nora Marks, and Richard Dauenhauer. Haa Shuká, Our Ancestors: Tlingit Oral Narratives), and J.F. La Pérouse Visit to Lituya Bay, 1786 (Excerpts from journal. Dauenhauer, Nora, Richard Dauenhauer, and Lydia Black. Anóoshi Lingít Aaní Ká,Russians in Tlingit America: the Battles of Sitka, 1802 and 1804).

Kit & Curricula

Formline design is part of a living culture and integral to the lifeways of the Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian. “It surrounds us, and it holds us up. Our Northwest Coast art is ingrained in the social fabric and oral histories of our clans.” —Rico Lanáat ́ Worl, A Basic Guide to Northwest Coast Formline Art In this project, we give students an introduction to formline design shapes and definitions, the importance of balance in the design form, and to ways an experienced Native artist would compose a formline design. We then provide them with tools to create their formline design. A key to this project is to see both the positive and negative aspects of a design and how each type influences and serves to shape the other. SHI offers materials to teach Northwest Coast art, including an online textbook, flashcards, and curriculum boards. To order a hard copy of the textbook, contact the Sealaska Heritage Store at or 907.586.9114.

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