Wednesday, January 6, 2016
Contact: Kristen Schulze Muszynski

Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap announces results of 2015 Native American Essay Contest

AUGUSTA ? Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap has announced the final results of the 2015 Maine Native American History and Culture Essay Contest today, and congratulated the participating students on their accomplishments.

?The essays reflect these students? learning about the rich history of the Wabanaki peoples of Maine, which is the main goal of this project,? said Dunlap. ?The teachers and students in this contest have done a terrific job.?

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 Carolyn F., a 9th-grade, home-schooled student from Farmington, whose essay is entitled, ?European Influences on Wabanaki Clothing.?

At the middle school level, top honors go to Riley Sullivan, a 7th-grade student at Windsor Elementary School, for his entry entitled, ?The Ferocious War that Changed the Native Americans? World.? In a tie for second place, honors go to both Avery Henningsen and Emma Hutchinson, both of whom are in 7th grade at Windsor Elementary School. Avery?s essay focuses on Native American weapons and Emma?s essay is about survival methods employed by Native Americans. 

The first-place essayists in each category have been invited to be Secretary Dunlap?s 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 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