Alaska Traditional Transition Skills

Alaska Traditional Transition Skills

The purpose of this curriculum project is to improve the quality of life, connection to local community, and increase work related skills for teens and young adults with disabilities who live in rural Alaska. It provides tools teachers can use to incorporate traditional values and knowledge into Individual Education Plans (IEPs) and Transition Plans. Though each chapter of this project ties to the cultural values and topics of a specific region of Alaska, the skills can be used and adapted throughout the state. Each unit is developed in partnership with indigenous culture bearers and Elders. Each lesson includes regionally specific learning stories and suggestions for adaptation for students of different ability levels. For questions about this project, contact Rain Van Den Berg at rainvdbconsulting@gmail.com.

Traditional Transition 2019: Set-Net Fishing Skills and Cold Water Safety Skills (Dillingham Region/Yup’ik values)


Important guidance on how to incorporate subsistence and traditional skill building into the transition plan of an IEP. Includes example transition plan statements and objectives.
Units developed for students with higher level of functional support needs.

Traditional Transition 2020: Financial Literacy and Self-Employment Skills (Kotzebue Region/ Iñupiaq values)


For students with learning disabilities and less functional support needs who are interested in self-employment and creating a traditional art business or other business. Includes basic financial literacy taught with learning stories and regionally specific examples.

Traditional Transition 2020: Traditional Iñupiaq Sewing (Kotzebue Region/ Iñupiaq values)


For students with learning disabilities and less functional support needs who are interested in exploring Iñupiaq sewing. This could be for connecting to culture and community, or as a path to a creative industry.

Traditional Transition 2021: Introduction to Traditional Carving (Southeast Region/Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian values)


For students with a wide variety of functional support needs who are interested in exploring Traditional Carving. This could be for connecting to culture and community, or as a path to a creative industry.

Traditional Transition 2021: Stewardship and Harvest on the Land (Southeast Region/Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian values)


For students with a wide variety of functional needs who are interested in participating in subsistence activities on the land. This unit starts with a lesson on living tribal values, includes safety on the land, and ends with harvesting berries with respect.

Traditional Transition 2022: Winter Safety on the Land
(Interior Region, Dene Athabascan values)


For students with a wide variety of functional needs who are interested in participating in subsistence activities on the land in winter. Includes safety and survival skills for interior Alaska.

Traditional Transition 2022: Introduction to Dene Athabascan Beading
(Interior Region, Dene Athabascan values)


For students with a wide variety of functional needs who are interested in learning about Dene Athabascan beading. This could be for connecting to culture and community, or as a path to a creative industry.