FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2020
Contact: Kristen Schulze Muszynski
Secretary Dunlap announces results of 2020 Native American Essay Contest
AUGUSTA – Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap is congratulating a Massabesic student as the winner of the 2020 Maine Native American History and Culture Essay Contest in the middle school division.
Keira LeBrun, a seventh-grade student at Massabesic Middle School in East Waterboro, has won this year’s contest with her essay on the Passamaquoddy Tribe.
“The story of the State of Maine cannot be told without the stories of the Wabanaki peoples,” said Secretary Dunlap. “When students learn about these cultures and traditions, they are able to develop a real understanding of our past that engenders respect for others, as well as a sense of place that will serve to deepen their connection to this land.”
Open to middle and high school 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. No high school students participated this year.
Secretary Dunlap encourages students and all Mainers to explore the holdings of 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. Many of these documents have been digitized for online access.
Maine law Title 20-A 4706 requires schools to teach Maine Native American history. This contest provides Maine students with a unique opportunity to share what they have learned in their studies. To learn more about this contest and other student programs offered by the Office of the Secretary of State, visit https://www.maine.gov/sos/kids/programs.