Native American Essay Program

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Entries are due November 10, 2020

Given the important role Native Americans have played in Maine history, and their ongoing contributions to our state’s economy and way of life, the Secretary of State's Office is pleased to continue our Maine Native American History & Culture Essay Program.

Open to students in Maine middle and high schools, this contest calls on students to explore at least one aspect of Maine Native American history, and then to write an essay of between 500-1000 words. Topics may include, but are not limited to, the history of Native American diplomacy, relations between the tribes, relations with European settlers, aspects of Native American economics, the migrations of Native American peoples or effects of treaties with European settlers.

Maine law (MRSA 20-A Sec. 4706) provides opportunities for Maine students to learn about Maine's Native Americans. This essay program is designed to give students an opportunity to share and showcase what they've learned in a fascinating area of study.

Essays are reviewed by a panel of judges, who will select a top entry and in both the middle and high school categories.

Due to COVID precautions and the closure of the Maine State Archives, we are unable to offer a visit to the Archives as a prize for top entries.  Each student who submits an entry will receive a participation certificate and top entries, featured on our website, will receive an award certificate.

Program Rules

  • Open to students in Maine middle and high schools, grades 6-12.
  • Topic should explore Maine Native American History
  • Essays should be between 500-1,000 words and typed
  • A registration form should accompany each essay or group of essays and can be mailed to the address listed on the form or submitted by email to sos.office@maine.gov.
  • Essay entries for an entire class may be submitted with one registration form; however, each submission must be clearly marked with the student's name, teacher and contact name, grade and school.
  • Submissions are due on November 10, 2020.
  • Essays will be reviewed by a panel of judges, who will select a top entry in both the middle school (grades 6-8) and high school (grades 9-12) categories.

Tribal Representatives

Representatives from the Passamaquoddy Tribe and the Penoscot Nation serve in the Maine Legislature and represent their constituency in Augusta. For more information or to contact a Tribal Representative, please select one of the links below.

Representative Rena D. Newell - Passamaquoddy Tribe