Indian essay contest winners announced

Posted Dec. 21, 2010, at 8:07 p.m.

AUGUSTA, Maine — Winners of the state’s 2010-11 Maine Native American History and Culture Essay Contest have been announced.

“This program has greatly matured,” said Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap. “Teachers have really worked with their students to expand their horizons about tribal cultures in Maine, and the essays truly reflect that. If we understand each other’s roots, our current shared society is that much stronger, and we clearly have great stewards in our young people.”

The first- and second-place winners are eighth-graders from Cape Elizabeth Middle School, though from different classes. Top honors go to Ben Stanley for his essay, “The Penobscot Indian Nation.” Lily Jordan placed second with her submission, “The Role of the Fur Trade in Wabanaki Economics.”

The contest required students to explore at least one aspect of Maine Native American history and to write an essay describing what they had learned. Entries detailed topics including the tools and hunting strategies of Maine Native Americans, relations with European settlers, aspects of Native American economics and the migrations of Native American peoples.

Each winner has been invited, along with their respective classes, to be Secretary-elect Charles E. Summers’ guests for a day in Augusta. Students will tour the State House, the State Museum and the State Archives, where they will be able to view Maine’s original treaties with Native peoples and original field books of the early European explorers.

Maine law requires that students be taught Maine Native American history. This contest provides students with a unique opportunity to share what they have learned.

Winning essays can be viewed online at http://www.maine.gov/sos/kids/nativeamerican/winners.htm.

To learn more about the contest and other student programs offered by the Office of the Secretary of State, visit www.maine.gov/sos/kids/index.htm.

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