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It is our great pleasure to announce the winners of this year’s Lighting the Fire Student Essay Contest. There were a number of outstanding entries this year, and we are delighted to know that students continue to develop their writing voices, and take such interest in their communities.

In Category 1 (grades 7-9)

The first place winner is Nadia Sinclair, 13 years old attending grade 8 at Chemawawin School, Easterville. She plans to go to university to become a doctor. Her life is surrounded with family, walking, school and television. She chose to write about the teachings she received from her grandparents and parents, traditional seven teachings, to guide her throughout her life’s journey.

The second place winner in this category is Alex Scott Johnson, 13 years old attending grade 8 at Miskooseepi School in Bloodvein. He plans to attend university to become a lawyer. Alex loves to entertain his family and friends. Alex wrote about living a good life and how it is all about the seven teachings because they give us an amazing culture, a great history, a magnificent language, and an awesome identity.
In Category 2 (grades 10-12)

The first place winner is Alayna Blacksmith 15 years old attending grade 10 at Mikisew School in Crosslake. Alayna is interested in becoming a doctor to provide a good life with her family. She chose to write about leading by example. Alayna stated that youth today have so much potential to accomplish their goals and this is the reason why now is the best time to begin a new cycle of success.

The second place winner in this category is Aiden Hansen 16 years old attending grade 10 at Lawrence Sinclair Memorial School in Jackhead. Aiden wrote about the resiliency of indigenous people who have retained their language, traditions, and cultural stories despite Canada’s attempt to annihilate their culture.

We thank all contest participants for their good efforts. It is always a pleasure to read students’ creative ideas and opinions about education and what they believe the future could hold. We especially thank those teachers who are committed to ensuring our students are prepared for the future, by providing them with the skills necessary for effective communication, particularly essay writing.

We look forward to seeing and hearing from the winners at this year’s Lighting the Fire Conference, May 10-12!

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