Maine Virtual Academy sophomores, Victoria Hamel and Lana Mavor took first and second place, respectively, in the Secretary of State’s annual Maine Native American History and Culture Essay Contest.

The contest requires participants to explore at least one aspect of Maine Native American history in their essay. Victoria covered the innovations of the Wabanaki Confederacy in her essay and Lana discussed the lives and economic well-being of the Native Americans in Maine.

In a news release, Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap said, “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. 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.”

Victoria and Lana and their history teacher Mrs. Kristen Tripp were invited to the State House in Augusta as Secretary Dunlap’s guests. There they were given a tour of the complex, including the Maine State Archives, where they were able view Maine’s original treaties with native peoples and original field books of early Maine land surveyors, and then were presented certificates by Secretary Dunlap.