Passing down the knowledge of subsistence life teaches an appreciation for Alaska Native cultural knowledge. No matter the language you use, talking about how food gets to our table is the perfect opportunity to share a bounty of knowledge.
- Share memories from your family about hunting and gathering
- Read/listen to traditional stories about animals
- Ask elders to tell their stories or to share folklore
- What berries can you name?
- Can you name some foods you get in each season? Fall? Winter? Spring? Summer?
- What animal do you think made these tracks?
- How should we cook this?
- What special meals do you have for holidays or celebrations?
Make It A Game
- After picking berries, try to guess who picked more based on the weight of the buckets.
- After catching some fish, compare the lengths, types, weight, etc.
- At high tide, guess what’s under the water – then return at low tide to see what you find
Use Your Words
- Make a booklet of the plants that can be gathered, animals that can be hunted in your area – include information about when and where they can be found. Have your child illustrate it.
- Create a recipe book with family favorites. Make sure to use words like boil, dry, salt, roast, and others to give as much detail as possible. Following recipes is a great way to teach how to follow steps in order.
- When talking about the food you gather or prepare, make sure to use the specific verb for each – for example, we hunt seal, moose, grouse; we pick berries; we dig for clams; we smoke/dry fish