Maine Native American History & Culture Essay Contest
Entries are due on November 13, 2017
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 Essay Contest.
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 competition 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 winner and runner up in both the middle and high school categories. Both winners and his or her class will be invited to be the Secretary of State's 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. These documents are kept in our vaults at the Archives and are rarely viewed. Precious records of this kind are not usually available to the general public, so this is a very special opportunity.
Comment from a winning classroom teacher:
We have included this contest in our plans for several years now. Since L.D. 291 states that Maine Native American history and culture be taught in all elementary and secondary schools, why not incorporate this essay contest into lesson plans?
Thank you for a great day at the State Capitol, museum, and archives. Thank you for sponsoring this contest every year. We have included this contest in our plans for several years now. Since L.D. 291 states that Maine Native American history and culture be taught in all elementary and secondary schools, why not incorporate this essay contest into lesson plans? Our students research Maine Native American history and culture, and can focus on an aspect of that culture that is interesting to them. It's a win-win--the students learn about Maine Native Americans, improve their research, writing, and revising skills, and have a chance to have their work recognized by the Secretary of State. It's a great opportunity and motivator. ~ Helen Williams, Windsor Elementary School
The MERF scholarship program is unique in that awards are based totally on essays written by the applicants. There is no requirement for applicants to be members of Mensa nor is any consideration given to grades, academic program, or financial need. The MERF scholarship program is very large in the geographic area it covers (the entire United States), the number of applications (approximately 6,000 in recent years), and the amount of money available for awards (nearly $70,000).
Applicants must be US citizens and live or go to school in an area covered by this scholarship. Please visit the MERF website to check this requirement at: www.mensafoundation.org. Click on “Scholarships,” then “Application,” and enter your ZIP Code for the appropriate entry form.
Please note that the address below is good only for residents of, or students in, Maine and New Hampshire. Consult the MERF website for details on other geographic areas.
Winners will receive awards of up to $1,000.
How to apply:
Applications can be requested by sending a self-addressed, stamped envelope to the address below, or via download from the website above. An essay (described on the application form) is required.
All applications and essays must be postmarked by January 15, 2015 and sent to the following address (Address could be different depending on location):
MENSA Foundation Scholarships
P.O. Box 1371
Stone Mountain, GA 30086-1371