All Things Maine
All Things Maine

Monday, October 17, 2005

Native American Essay Contest

Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap has announced the first annual Maine Native American History & Culture Essay Contest. Maine middle- and high-school students are asked "to explore at least one aspect of Maine native history, and then to write an essay of between 500-1000 words." The winner will receive a $250 savings bond and a class trip to Augusta, including a special visit to the vault at the Maine State Archives.
Kept in the vault are such precious papers as Maine's treaties with native people and the journal of Joseph Treat, who explored northern Maine's American Indian settlements with Penobscot Indian Nation guide John Neptune.

"This is an uncommon treat," Dunlap said Friday during an interview at the State House. The papers are rarely viewed and not generally available to the public, he said. [Link]
The essay contest will help schools meet the requirements of a 2003 amendment to Maine education law. The amendment requires that a school's Maine Studies curriculum include a component dealing with Maine Native Americans.

Deadline for entries is Nov. 18.
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