An}a}iisi{ matanaan imin i{amnaku{. Ana}i{ ukunachin imchin ugutaasaamchim a}na{txichin. (E)
An}a}fjdnndaku{ mal sigaan inixsiisada. (W)
Life is gifted to you. What you make of it is your gift in return.


ACTIVITY ONE. You can prepare for a community celebration.

It’s time to invite the Elders and all who have helped you into the school for a celebration of your region’s plants. You can share what you know with them and with others in your community who might learn from your work.

Make a list of everyone to invite and decide how you want to deliver the invitations: posters, banners, signs, letters, phone calls. Prepare and deliver your invitations.

Plan to show your guests your Class Herbarium. Arrange to display your log books, your hammered leaf projects, seed posters, and other activities. Complete any science fair entries. Do the final work on all your experiments and practice describing your results in brief oral presentations. Finish any other projects you have done with this plant study and rehearse explaining them to your guests.

Discuss the ways that you will welcome your honored guests into the classroom. What arrangement should you make for them? How should you show respect for your guests? If the season is appropriate, arrange to prepare special treats for your guests from local plant foods. Remember that you are survivors of an “earthquake” and you know how to use wisely the resources of your area.

After all the invitations have been sent out and you are prepared for the community celebration, time permitting, begin these additional activities.

Fritillaria camschatcensis
Alugam kangaa
(UT 230)
(overground portion of)
Aluga{ (UT 57)
(root bulb of)
Sarana{ E (UT 353)[Russian loan]
Stinky flower, chocolate lily, black lily


“During sealing season we would dig the roots of stinky flower. The plants were in limited quantities on St. Paul Island, so we would have to dig a lot to make a meal. The roots were sandy and had to be washed over and over and then soaked for several days. When our mother boiled the seal meat, she would also boil the roots in a separate pot and mash them. The boiled roots would be divided into two pots, and one would be mixed with sweetened condensed milk for the children and one mixed with seal oil for the parents.”

Mary Bourdukofsky, Unangan Elder from St. Paul


Sophie Sherebernikoff remembers not liking the taste of Sarana{ (also known as Alugam kangaa, the Stinky flower, Fritillaria camschatcensis) because it was bitter. Her mother told her that while the ones that grow in Unalaska tasted bitter, the ones that grow in Nikolksi would taste sweet.

Sophie Sherebernikoff, Unangan Elder from Unalaska


Aagamagna{ W (UT 2) (aah gham AAG nah): Elder
Ludaa}i{ (UT 257) (loo THAAH ghih): Elder
Ukaanu{ta{ E (UT 427 #3) (uk aahn NUHK tah): Elder

a}aasa{ E (UT 31) (ah GHAAS eh): gift
a}aaza{ W (UT 31) (ah GHAAZ eh): gift
siga{ W (UT 357) (segh ah): gift

an}a}iisi{ (UT 75) (ang gha GHEES ih): life

kamxa{ (UT 227) (KUM kah): celebration

udigasalix E (UT 416) (oothe igh (ah) SA lih): to share
udixs W (UT 416) (OOTHE ihs): to share
udigda W (UT 416) (oo THIG thah): share
udigdada E (UT 416) (oo thig THAH thah): share

Unangam An}a}iisingin E (Galaktionoff: 2001)
  (oo NUNG am • an ghah ghee SING in): traditional knowledge of Unangan

Unangam An}a}iisingis W (Dirks: 2001) (oo NUNG am • an ghah ghee SING is): traditional knowledge of Unangas

consumer pollution
detritivoreprimary consumer
food chainproducer
food websecondary consumer



Nereocystis luetkeana
(UT 399)
bull kelp

Fucus evanescens
(UT 231)
Kangadgim chuqii (UT 231)
(stalk of bladderwrack)


ACTIVITY TWO. You can learn about plant foods from the sea.

Plants from the sea provide many important foods also. Can you find these plants near your school? Ask your Elders and other experts what they know about using these plants from the sea. (illustrations) Record your information in your log books.

As you enjoy your region’s foods with your community, think about the many ways these foods nourish all animals.


Ulva sp.
E (UT 210)
iklun W (UT 189)
Sea lettuce



Sea lettuce:

“We used this sea plant for a lot of things. We would gather it in the summer and dry in the attic on cardboard. Then when it was dry, we would put it in a clean cloth flour or sugar sack to store through the winter. Mom would sprinkle it on whenever she boiled rice or made stew. When dry, they are dark. When it gets wet, it turns green again.”

When it was a nice day for a beach picnic, Mom used to boil a kettle or take one to boil outside to make tea. Then we would gather a}ugnan (UT 30) (uh WOOGH nun), sea eggs, (sea urchins) to have with crackers or bread. We ate them raw out of the shell and they tasted sweet. They were almost like a dessert. We also liked to eat chiim(i)kaayun (cheem KAYE yoon), E (UT 14), tiny snails, Litorina sitkana.

Mary Bourdukofsky, Unangan Elder from St. Paul


Remember, animals (humans included) cannot make their own food. They get their food by eating plants or animals that have eaten plants. Plants are known as producers in the food chain. Willow is an example of a producer. All others are known as consumers in the food chain. The primary consumers eat only plants; they are called herbivores. Ptarmigan are an example of herbivores. They eat the buds of willow and other plants. The consumers that eat the herbivores are called carnivores. Foxes are an example of carnivores. They eat ptarmigan, lemmings and small birds. A diagram of this three-part food chain would look like this:

crowberry 7 vole 7 fox

To further complete the chain, you could add the detritivores, those who eat dead plants and animals.

A food chain is just one part of a food web.

Who or what eats the plants in your region? Have you seen insects eating the plants when you visited the habitats? Who or what eats the insects? Who or what eats the insect-eaters?

Are birds or hares or voles eating the plants in your region? Who or what eats the birds or hares or voles?

ACTIVITY THREE. You can make a food web

With your class, list all the plants you can now name now on the left side of a large sheet of paper. leave space between each plant because your other lists might become long. Label this first list “producers.” Then make a second list next to it. This list is “consumers: herbivores,” the plant eaters.

Write each eater’s name by the plant or plants it eats. Write your list in the column going down so that you can connect it to the third list. Then make a third list of “consumers: carnivores.” This is the list of the animals (include the insects and birds and sea life and humans) that eat the herbivores. Some names will be in both lists. Draw an arrow pointing from the “eater” to the “eaten.”

You may need to take a short break from the class discussion and look in your library or on the World Wide Web to build your lists.


Make a sign for each producer and consumer on your lists. Color code the signs for each of the three categories: producer, herbivore, or carnivore. Each class member wears a sign, holding it on with yarn around the neck or by pinning the sign on clothes.

One student should be designated the sun and begins the food web, holding onto one end of a ball of yarn. The sun passes the yarn to a student wearing a sign for the producer. Start with one producer at a time. The plant person (or persons) passes the yarn s/he has on to an eater of the plant, based on the class list you made. The yarn is passed from eaten to eater until all eaters and foods are connected. Look at all the places the yarn crosses over. Look at the ways the yarn connects to many things or to only one thing. What happens if the yarn connection is broken because one of the foods disappears? You can show this by cutting the yarn with scissors and then consider what that animal will eat instead.

Each time you build a food web with another producer, change the roles around so that the same people are not always “eaten.”



Before the community celebration, read again “The Right Way to Live as an Unanga{” (Appendix). Choose one guideline to illustrate on a small poster that will be part of the welcoming display showing the way to the celebration.


You can find more information on the World Wide Web about food webs. Turn your browser’s search engine to “food chain” and “food web” to locate resources.


Empetrum nigrum
Qaayum qaxchikluu
(UT 314)
Aangsu{ W (UT 90)
Qaayu{ (UT 314)
Kidnam qaayuu
(UT 237)
(bush of moss)
Crowberry, mossberry, blackberry


How does pollution affect your plant’s region and your local wild food?

Although called a “moss” reindeer moss is actually a lichen. It is known to have many uses. Ask your Elders or local experts what they know about reindeer moss.


To understand more about lichens, you might want to look at this web site for lively illustrations

Lichens are also important in measuring the pollution in a region. For example, look at:

“Lichens and Acid Rain” in Alaska’s Tundra & Wildlife: Alaska Wildlife Curriculum Teacher’s Guide, Alaska Department of Fish and Game, 1995. page 133.


You can consult a Web site for information about nutrition in wild foods.

See: Alaska Traditional Knowledge and Native Foods database



Cladina rangiferina
W (UT 449)
It{aygim kidngaa E (UT 237)
Kigyam ali}a Attuan (UT 237)
Reindeer moss

Student Assessment, Section Five
Name: ____________________________
Date: __________________ 1. Always 2. Sometimes 3. Never
I completed all my work.      
I was respectful of Elders.      
I understood the information.      

The next time I study plants, I would like to do the following in a different way:


Leymus mollis formerly known as Elymus mollis
Ti{yu{ E (UT 398)
Ti}yu{ W (UT 398)
(basket grass)
Wild rye, beach rye


Unangan Elder, Nick Galaktionoff, formerly of Makushin village on Unalaska Island said, “My grandmother and my mom used to make small grass baskets. They made grass rugs and window blinds too. No one does that anymore. My mom got good, long grass like they have at Eider Point and Little South America.” They cut fresh grass and stored it in the warehouse to dry. Dry grass has the best smell inside. When they needed grass for the floor of the ula{ or sod home, they would bring it in from the warehouse and spread it on the floor. “It smelled like fresh air inside,” Nick said. “I like that smell!” You would use it two or three times and then change it when you wanted it to be nice and fresh.

Nick Galaktionoff, Unangan Elder from Unalaska




This text gives an appropriate word when possible in Eastern and Western dialects. You may find that there is a sub-dialect word in your area for those listed. Write it down. If you can find the correct spelling, time period and place in Aleut Dictionary/Unangam Tunudgusii, include them with the page number.

If you find that an Elder or Unangam tunuu speaker can positively identify a plant with a name in the language that has not been recorded, write it down as well as you are able. Include the Latin name and whether it was identified from a real plant or a picture. If it is from a picture, specify the text source.

Please provide contact information for the speaker so that we can have a linguist or botanist contact him or her, if necessary. Include the speaker’s full name, place of origin and the date. Send to: Barbara Carlson, AUE, PO Box 220196, Anchorage, AK 99522-0196 or contact us at, so we can include it in future work such as sound bites for the Internet.

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