Knowing Alaska: Archie Satterfield's Chilkoot Pass

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Alaska's Historic Past: How Gold Changed the Greatland; who, what, where, and how.

This is a learning activity which integrates the history and geography of Alaska, and connects the people, places, and events of one significant period with today, it's people and our lives.

BSSD Standards Addressed

The following standards may be addressed with material offered from the literature source. (Additional resources are necessary to adequately cover the standards.) Since this literature source might be useful in either or both of the Social Studies level triads where Alaska standards are addressed, I have taken the liberty of inserting the lowest level denominator into the nomenclature for the standard to indicate the triad it correlates to. (In other words, "3" for levels 3-5, and "6" for levels 6-8.)


Materials Needed

Text: Chilkoot Pass, by Archie Satterfield




The book "Chilkoot Pass" is a series of chapters, mostly short, which share related themes and are chronologically arranged. However, they can easily stand alone and don't require that they be read in the order in which they are arranged. Many of the chapters can be used as a starting point from which to teach specific standards. Supplemental sources and activities as well as independent research might be used to further fulfill the intent of the standards. This book can be a good starting point.

Questions answered by various chapters in this book are these:

Chapter 5 - The Big Strike

Chapter 8 - "Soapy" (Smith)

Chapter 12 - Iron Man Steele

Chapter 11 - Chilkoot Winter

Chapter questions

Chapter 14 - The Army Arrives

Chapter 6 - Seattle Feeds on the Rush

Chapter 1 - Schwatka

Chapter 16 - Railroad Builders

Levels 3-5

SS.A.3.07 Describes authority in a variety of settings i.e. the family, school, and tribe, past and present.

SS.A.3.08 Interviews leaders in the local and tribal community.

SS.A.3.09 Recognizes leadership positions in the city, state and nation.

SS.A.3.10 Identifies local district, state, and federal jurisdictions.

SS.A.3.11 Understands imports and exports of our state and region.

SS.A.3.12 Understands the use of resources in subsistence economies.

SS.A.3.13 Identifies and demonstrates the components and use of a state budget (spending and saving).

SS.A.3.14 Identifies geographical regions and features of Alaska. (see also CA 4.5)

SS.A.3.15 Explains key elements of culture (language, art, customs, and dress).

SS.A.3.16 Compares and contrasts the characteristics of at least three Native Alaskan groups (Athabaskans, Aleuts, Tlingits, Inupiats, Yupiks). (SEE ALSO CA 3.2)

SS.A.3.17 Sequences events in the history of Native Alaskans.

SS.A.3.18 Understands European exploration and settlement of Alaska (fur trappers, miners, and missionaries).

Levels 6-8

SS.A.6.08 Understands the organization and responsibilities of Alaska state government, including the Alaska Constitution and the Statehood Compact. (was SS 5.10)

SS.A.6.09 Understand current issues being lobbied in Alaska (lobbying and public interest groups, Whaling Commission, Walrus Commission, ANWR, etc.

SS.A.6.10 Understands the role of government in regulating the Alaskan economy (timber, fish, oil, tourism, mining).

SS.A.6.11 Understands the purpose and land impact of ANILCA

SS.A.6.12 Make tables, charts and graphs of the physical and human resources in the community and states. (was SS 5.13)

SS.A.6.13 Identifies the thirteen regional corporations created by ANCSA on a map.

SS.A.6.14 Understands theories about human origins: evolution, explanations of traditional societies.

SS.A.6.15 Understands the events and turning points in the history of Alaska from the Gold Rush through World War II, the Oil Boom, Statehood, Native Rights Movement to present day.

SS.A.6.16 Understands events and turning points in Alaska history, including Russian exploration, settlement, and the gold rush.

SS.A.6.17 Understands the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act and its impact on the people and the state.

SS.A.6.18 Understands current issues in the context of historical events (Loss of native language in terms of Sheldon Jackson’s mission, etc.)

Evaluation/ Rubric

Teacher Notes



Mark Thompson, St. Michael


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