Bug-O-Nay-Ge-Shig student recognized
Casey Smith of Bemidji, a sixth-grader at Bug-O-Nay-Ge-Shig Middle School, wrote an essay that was selected to be published in the Star Tribune.
Smith's essay titled, "How Do I Count?" was one of 10 essays selected out of more than 400 entries from around the state to be published as part of an essay contest by ThreeSixty, a collaboration of the Star Tribune, the St. Paul Pioneer Press and the University of St. Thomas.
More than 400 middle- and high-school students from around Minnesota wrote essays to explore how their families, friend groups, schools and souls influence why they matter in America.
ThreeSixty trains high school students in journalism and sponsors online essay contests throughout the year. The essays were judged by writers Maria Elena Baca of the Star Tribune, Ruben Rosario of the Pioneer Press, and ThreeSixty staffers Lynda McDonnell and Anne Nelson.
In his essay, submitted by teacher Kendra Wold, Smith writes:
"I am a young boy who dances and sings. I am enrolled as an Ojibwe Native American from Red Lake, Minnesota. My Native name is Makoonce, which means "Little Bear."
I live in Bemidji with my father, my step-mother and two of my five brothers. I also have a sister who has twin baby girls. I like being an uncle.
In America I see myself as a future actor. I would like to be in movies and programs that show Native Americans in a positive way. I would like to show my talents as a singer and a dancer. I like to sing and dance because they are part of my culture. I do these things because I would like to carry on the Ojibwe traditions to future generations.
I see myself as a role model for younger Native American children."