Holland & Knight Charitable Foundation Announces Fifth Annual Young Native Writers’ Essay Contest

Contest Encourages Young Native American Writers to Explore Their Heritage

Washington, D.C. – January 11, 2009 – LawFuel.com – The Holland & Knight Charitable Foundation is pleased to announce the call for essays in its fifth annual Young Native Writers’ Essay Contest. The national writing contest focuses on the richness of Native American life and history, and challenges youth to speak out on issues important to their tribal communities.

For 2010, students who participate will be asked to write on the following topic: “Describe a crucial issue confronting your tribal community today. Explain how you hope to help you tribal community respond to this challenge and improve its future.”

The contest is designed to encourage young Native American writers to explore their heritage while becoming positive forces in their communities. It is open to high school students from all tribes throughout the United States. The Holland & Knight Charitable Foundation partners with the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian.

“We are greatly inspired by Native American students who share their experiences and aspirations through their writing,” said Angela Ruth, executive director of Holland & Knight’s Charitable Foundation. “For us at Holland & Knight, the essays open doors to new understandings of the challenges of hope emerging from Indian Country.”

“The Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian is proud to be involved in a program that inspires high school students to think innovatively about their Native communities,” said museum director Kevin Gover (Pawnee). “Each year we look forward to honoring the winners at our building on the National Mall.”

Students interested in participating can visit the Holland & Knight Young Native Writers’ Essay Contest Web site for official contest rules and to view past winning essays. All essays must be postmarked by the entry deadline, May 10, 2010 and mailed to: Young Native Writers, c/o Holland & Knight Charitable Foundation, P.O. Box 2877, Tampa, FL 33601-2877.

Five finalists will be named in June and all finalists and their teachers will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C., where their activities will include an honor ceremony at the National Museum of the American Indian; a tour of the Cultural Resources Center where tribal objects can be viewed and studied; Native American author symposiums for students and their teachers; a tour of the Capitol and a tour of American University. The winners will also receive a $2,500 scholarship to be paid to the college or university of their choice during a scholarship ceremony that will take place Holland & Knight’s Washington, D.C. office.

The contest debuted in 2006 in Red Lake, Minn. in response to the March 2005 event where a student of Red Lake High School shot five fellow students, one teacher, one security guard, members of his family and then himself. The Foundation developed this contest with the hope that the Red Lake community would find healing by promoting its rich culture and traditions.

“Indian youngsters have learned, better than any generation before them, how to ‘walk in two worlds,’” said Ben Nighthorse Campbell, a former U.S. Senator and current senior policy advisor with Holland & Knight. “Many have mastered the tools of the technological age while preserving the traditions vital to their culture. I am pleased that Holland & Knight and the National Museum of the American Indian have continued their partnership in providing a forum for these talented and thoughtful young people to offer their perspectives on issues of importance to all in Indian Country.”

About Holland & Knight LLP: Holland & Knight is a global law firm with more than 1,000 lawyers in 17 U.S. offices as well as Abu Dhabi, Beijing and Mexico City. Representative offices are located in Caracas and Tel Aviv. Holland & Knight is among the nation’s largest law firms, providing representation in litigation, business, real estate and governmental law. Interdisciplinary practice groups and industry-based teams provide clients with access to attorneys throughout the firm, regardless of location.

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