Congratulations to Nola Vallade, a Morse High School 10th grader, who was awarded the third annual Nathan R. Lipfert Maritime History Award for her excellent essay, “Indigenous Fishing in Maritime Maine.” The Nathan R. Lipfert Maritime History Prize was created in honor of the museum’s Curator Emeritus Nathan R. Lipfert whose passion for maritime history served as a steward for the development of the museum’s collection and archives. Every year, Morse High School students are eligible to submit one essay on a maritime topic of their choice as a way to foster an interest in learning about local history, maritime themes, and archival research at the museum.
Nola’s well-researched essay explored how the Passamaquoddy and Penobscot tribes cultivated effective fishing practices, the economic networks they established with newly arrived Europeans, and their eventual colonization and ongoing legal battles to retain tribal ancestral rights to fish their homelands. Nola described a long-time interest in learning about indigenous cultures and how traditional knowledge is preserved and passed down through the generations. She said, “The most interesting thing I learned from writing this essay was learning about the fishing weirs, the traps used to catch fish in rivers.”
Maine Maritime Museum is proud to award Nola $500, free day passes to the museum, and a one-hour cruise on Merrymeeting. We received a number of great essays this year and are excited to see a growing interest among students to learn more about maritime themes. All qualifying participants will also receive free day passes and a one-hour Merrymeeting cruise to further inspire their learning about maritime Maine.