Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap is announcing the results of the 2016 Maine Native American History and Culture Essay Contest this week, and congratulating the participating students on their accomplishments. 

Dunlap says the goal of the contest is giving students an outlet to show what they’ve learned about the rich history of the Wabanaki peoples of Maine. “We are thankful to the teachers who share this opportunity with their students, and hopeful that our participants will continue to build upon the knowledge they have gained through their Maine Native American history studies.”

The annual contest asks participants to explore at least one aspect of Maine Native American History and write an essay describing what they have learned.


This year’s top contestant in the high school division is Victoria Hamel, a sophomore at the Maine Virtual Academy, for her essay on the innovations of the Wabanaki Confederacy. Second-place finalist Lana Mavor, also a sophomore at Maine Virtual Academy, entitled her essay “The lives and economic well-being of the Native Americans in Maine.”

At the middle school level, top honors go to Daniel Tibbetts, a seventh-grade student at Windsor Elementary School, for his entry about baseball player Louis Sockalexis entitled, “Maine’s #1 Sports Star.” Second-place was awarded to Kelsie Fielder, also a seventh-grade student at Windsor Elementary School, for her entry, “Women Who Sang the Songs of Strength.”

The first-place essayists in each category will be hosted by Dunlap for a day in Augusta. Students will tour the State House complex, including the Maine State Archives, where they will be able to view Maine’s original treaties with native peoples and original field books of early Maine land surveyors.

Full essays can be read at the Maine State website.


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