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5 Native winners in Young Native Writers Essay contest

WASHINGTON – Five Native Americans from Montana, Texas, California and North Carolina have been announced as the winners of the Holland & Knight Charitable Foundation’s 2013 Young Native Writers Essay contest.

One winner is Constance Owl of the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians in Murphy, N.C. The other winners were Kaitlyn Boy from the Blackfeet Nation Heart Butte in Montana, Taylor Archuleta of the Choctaw Nation in Stockton, Calif., Shanice Britton of the Round Valley Indian Tribe in Covelo, Calif., and Morgan Gray of the Chickasaw Nation in San Antonio.

The contest was created in 2006 in response to a tragedy on the reservation for the Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians. It focuses on the richness of Native American life and history and challenges American Indian youth to speak out on issues important to their tribal communities. The contest is open to high school students from all tribal communities.

This year’s topic was to describe a crucial issue confronting the writer’s tribal community and explain how he or she hoped to help the community respond and improve its future.

The Holland & Knight Charitable Foundation partners with the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian to plan and execute activities during Scholar Week. All finalists are invited to participate in an all expenses paid Scholar Week in Washington, D.C, which began on July 15.

Scheduled activities included an honor ceremony at the National Museum of the American Indian, a tour of the NMAI Cultural Resources Center where tribal objects can be viewed and studied educational symposiums and a tour of the U.S. Capitol. The winners will also receive a $2,500 scholarship to be paid to the college or university of their choice.


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