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Secretary of State congratulates selected authors of Native American Essay Contest

Posted Jan. 03, 2014, at 10:48 a.m.
Last modified Jan. 03, 2014, at 12:03 p.m.

AUGUSTA, Maine — Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap announced the names of the selected authors in the 2013 Maine Native American History and Culture Essay Contest on Friday and congratulated them on their accomplishments.

“This year’s submissions were of very high quality,” said Dunlap, in a government press release. “The essays we announced today truly did stand out, but all the submissions showed tremendous amounts of research, reflection, and synthesis of ideas into the strong essays we’re proud to present. The students and their instructors have done a wonderful job using their skills to focus on this range of topics that hasn’t always gotten the attention it deserves.”

Open to students statewide, 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 lifestyle and skills of early Maine Native Americans, their relations with European settlers, and tribal history of the Wabanaki nation.

This year’s top entry in the high school division is Chelsey F., a 10th-grade, home-schooled student from Farmington, for her essay titled, “A Century of Assimilation.” Second place is awarded to Dominick F., also a home-schooled student from Farmington, for his entry titled, “The Design and Function of Maine Native American Hunting Tools.” Dominick is in ninth grade.

Middle School top honors go to Carolyn F., a home-schooled student from Farmington for her entry titled, “Passamaquoddy and Mi’kmaq Legends: How They Were Used in Wabanaki History.” Second place is awarded to Sydney Avery of Windsor Elementary School for her submission titled, “The Legends of Glooskap.” Both students are in the seventh grade.

The top entry in each category has been invited to be Secretary Dunlap’s guest for a day in Augusta. Students will tour the State House Complex, including 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 Title 20-A s 4706 at http://www.mainelegislature.org/legis/statutes/20-A/title20-Asec4706.html requires that students be taught Maine Native American History. This contest provides Maine students with a unique opportunity to share what they have learned in their studies. Winning essays can be viewed online at http://www.maine.gov/sos/kids/nativeamerican/winners.htm . To learn more about this contest and other student programs offered by the Office of the Secretary of State, visit http://www.maine.gov/sos/kids/index.htm .

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