Niġliq: Site of an Ancient Trade Fair

Learning Center Overview

Join teachers from several parts of the country as they visited the site of the historic trade fair on the North Slope of Alaska at the mouth of the Colville River. See Niġliq (which is the Iñupiaq word for "goose") as it is today and journey back a hundred years to one of the last trade fairs, as seen through the eyes of a little boy who traveled with his family.

To learn about ancient trade in other parts of Alaska, visit the Trade in Precontact Alaska Learning Center.

Enduring Understandings and Big Ideas

  1. Trade is a universal economic activity that depends on the willingness of people with different resources to exchange with each other.
  2. Trade between and among Alaska Native groups is ancient, having roots as far back as archaeological evidence exists for humans in the Arctic.

Learning Objectives

Visitors to this Learning Center can:

  • Hear and see the site of a centuries-long trade fair on the North Slope of Alaska
  • Explore the long history of trade that pre-dated the coming of Europeans to Alaska
  • Learn about two complementary Inupiaq regions: the land-based territory of the Nunamiut and the sea-based territory of the Tagiugmiut
  • Compare the trade that occurred at Nigliq with trade and commerce we experience today

Time required:

1 to 4 class periods