December 21, 2010
Contact:  Matthew Dunlap

Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap Congratulates Winners of Native American Essay Contest

Augusta- Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap announced the names of the winners in the 2010-11 Maine Native American History and Culture Essay Contest today and offered his appreciation to all who took part.

"This program has greatly matured," said 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," he said.

Both the first and second place winners are 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. Both students are in the eighth grade.

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’ guest 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.

"I am looking forward to meeting the students and introducing them to the remarkable resources available at the Maine State Archives, "said Summers. "In addition to viewing holdings at the Archives, many records are accessible via the internet and should not be overlooked by student researchers."

Maine law Title 20-A §4706 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 the study of Maine Native American History. Winning essays can be viewed online at To learn more about this contest and other student programs offered by the Office of the Secretary of State, visit