Thursday, Feb. 2, 2017
Contact: Kristen Schulze Muszynski

Secretary Dunlap announces results of 2016 Native American Essay Contest

AUGUSTA – Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap has announced the results of the 2016 Maine Native American History and Culture Essay Contest today, and congratulated the participating students on their accomplishments.

“The goal of this contest is to give students an outlet to show what they’ve learned about the rich history of the Wabanaki peoples of Maine,” said Secretary Dunlap. “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.”

Open to students statewide, the annual contest requires participants to explore at least one aspect of Maine Native American History and to 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 untitled 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.”

Secretary Dunlap invites the first-place essayists in each category to be his guests 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.

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 their studies.  The public can view the essays online at To learn more about this contest and other student programs offered by the Office of the Secretary of State, visit