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Learn & Lead Essays

From the story first run on March 9,2016 in Issue 10 .

By MHA Times Staff

Numerous Fort Berthold Indian Reservation students recently participated in the Learn & Lead Essay Contest. Winners of the contest visited Washington, D.C. to celebrate their accomplishments.

Laurel Deegan-Fricke, from the MHA Nation Learn & Lead Program and founder and chief executive officer of the National Coalition of Native American Students (NCNAS), accompanied the students to Washington on Feb. 23.

The theme of the essay contest was “Imagine Yourself as a Leader,” and well over a dozen Fort Berthold students from schools across the reservation participated in the competition.

2016 5th place Hobawea Nahish Demaray essay NTMS – 7 grade

True Leadership

Leadership isn’t always what people think. True leadership is not about being in the front of the line or telling the people what to do. True leadership is about learning and growing and listening. Leaders have to listen, and use their resources. Leader aren’t always the wisest or the strongest. Leaders might make rules, but they also follow the rules they’ve made. They don’t  play favorites. Leaders are compassionate, but firm when they have to be.

As a leader, I will help my people through their difficulties. Leadership is working with your heart, and caring for your people. Leadership is putting the welfare of everyone before the welfare of self. It is not a position or a title, it is a full-time job. Leaders don’t just state the problems. They face them and find solutions. They do not boss people around. They work with them. And listen to them and their problems. True leadership is hard work.

Ifthere are going to be changes, there must be problems. Many kids in my community are consistent users of drugs and alcohol. They do it to have fun. One solution is to create more places to go. Like swimming pools or arcades or a movie theater. I feel like the kids are just bored. They need something to do.

Drugs  and alcohol are breaking Native people.  I definitely  don’t like addiction.  I can’t  think of anything good that alcohol  or other  substances have  contributed  to anyone. I can think of  a lot of things,  even people that it has taken from us. I think that if we go back  to The Great     Spirit, we could connect  back to mother  earth. We could fix   ourselves.

I believe that I could use social media to reach out to my peers. I want to write when I’m older. I will use my words. I would use my voice to inspire others. I want to speak out, tell them  the problems, open their eyes and find solutions. I want to them to know. To feel. They need to know what’s going on. How they can change it. They are the 7th Generation. The Generation to change everything.

A leader that inspires me is my mother, Dr. Twyla Baker-Demaray. She is the President of The Nueta Hidatsa Sanish College in New Town. She runs the college with dignity and pride, but she is humble. She makes decisions on what’s best for the college. She is a good communicator. She is a role model for me. Ifl could have half of the leadership skills she has, I would still be an exceptional leader.

Another leader that inspires me is Martin Luther King Jr. He was a man for equality and peace. He was a colossal part of the civil rights movement.  He is a very inspiring person to look  up to. His skills as a leader are amazing. He is a very persuasive and a motivational speaker. His skills are ones that I’d like to have. I look up to him very much.

“We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools”- Martin Luther King Jr.

In conclusion, I would be a leader who thinks about the future, who makes decisions that will benefit my community right now and in the future. I want to be a leader that little kids look up to. I want to be a leader that has good judgment. I’m saying “I want to” because I have a lot of learning to do. I know that I can succeed and I believe in myself. I love my community. I love the people here. They deserve a leader. They need one. That’s the reason why I’m doing this. For my community.


American Prophecies by Scott Peterson http://www.brainyquote .com/quotes/authors/mlmartin   luther   king   jr .html

2016 6th place Hailey Hellow Holf essay NTMS – 8 grade

If I was a leader

For my essay I will be doing three of the questions including (What change would you like to see?), (Who is a leader who inspires you?), and (How could you use your voice to inspire others?). They will all be in order of how I wrote them. All the pictures will be in the back of the essay.

As a leader I would like to see everyone I know to have a house or an apartment. The rent or cost of the house would be affordable to the income that the owners have. There would be more houses and apartments built for those in need of them. There would be more job openings  because the owners would have to have money to pay for their house or apartment. The jobs they look for would have benefits like health care for their families and them. They would have to buy a car because they need to have one to get them around and to and from work. And they would have money to put gas in for it to run . And the disbursements help with all of the parents who need help with food and clothing for their children to wear. There are some things that we can do to help everyone in the community. For the high schoolers there would be career fairs and more websites with career choices on them so they know what they want to go in when they go into college. Those kinds of things keep them in school and make them want to succeed. For the kids in grade school there would be activities for them like clubs and more sports for them to be in.

For the adults there would be more places for them like diners, a movie theater (Trail Theater),and a bowling alley (Main Lanes) before in Newtown, ND. There so many things that we can build to have and make a better community.

As a leader I would like equal rights for everyone. My leader who inspires me is Martin Luther King Jr. Because he wanted equal rights for everyone no matter what race, gender, or color of your skin because we are all people. Martin Luther King Jr. accomplished so much when he was alive.  He created the Civil rights of 1964, Voting rights act of 1965, earned the Noble Peace  Prize 1964, and many other honors. He is well known of his speech “I have a dream.” In April 1968 he was assassinated. I think that if he was still alive he would have made more remarkable achievements and now everyone of all kinds of races can vote. He was a very special man and all of his accomplishments make me want to help and change the world like he did .

As a leader I would use all the resources I can to get the message to everyone. I would make a Facebook page with all the information about what’s going on and upcoming events. I would record all the meetings and put them onto a YouTube, Facebook, and a website for the tribal building . I would get to know all the elders and visit them daily because they know a lot about the reservation and the history about it. They have more experience then the most of us and they are a big part of the community. I would get to know all the tribal officials because without them we would make no progress. The generation know is who will be running the tribal building and would need to know how to run Our tribal business. For the school I would help kids at the  school so they will go on the right path and help them stay in school. I would have connection with everyone so they know who I and support me with everything I do.

If I was a leader I would want the best for everyone and I would like to make a mark on everyone’s life.

2016 7th place Dahlen-Dylee essay NTMS – 8 grade

A leader has different meaning to different people all over the world, to me the definition  of a leader is a person who motivates and inspires innovation to people around them to work towards a certain goal. A successful leader is someone who people  look towards  for guidance   and direction, who has compassion,  confidence  and courage.

Living on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation I have seen dramatic changes in my community due to the oil boom, changes in our environment, high traffic volume and increase of population. Changes I would like to see is better education for our school systems, the increase of population has limited educators in our community. The educators in our schools systems need higher income, I feel that they don’t get paid enough for all the work they do to teach the kids.. Most teachers work from 6:00am to 10:00pm, and choose to use up all their free time making sure that the students are where they should be in school. Ifthe payment was raised higher the percent of unfilled teaching jobs would go down.

Another change I would like to see is for the kids. The children in our society have too  much free time on their hands and that could soon be a problem. As a leader I would talk to the Tribe and City council about a place where young  adults can spend their time after school. If   they were to build another recreational area, more kids would be physically  active, and their  parents wouldn’t  have to worry where they are or what they are doing. The youth can get bored    of things quick, so being in this growing town I hope to see they can build kid friendly items that children will be amused by. In the future I plan that our community  can create a swimming pool   or something simple but different, having a swimming pool would be enjoyable because the kids would have fun and also by staying   fit.

Who inspires me to be a leader? My grandmother Alyce Spottedbear, who was given the Indian name Numakshi  Mihe which means “Lead  Woman”. She was elected  as Chairwoman of  the Three Affiliated Tribes from 1982-1987. During her term as Chairwoman, she accomplished many things  for our community.  She help introduce the Joint  Tribal Advisory  Committee  (JTAC) Bill into congress for the damages and flooding of our tribal land. My grandmother     earned a Bachelor of Science degree in education from Dickinson State College, a Master of Education degree from Pennsylvania  State College and a Doctorate  degree in Education at   Cornell University. In 2010 President Obama appointed her to serve on the National Advisory Council on Indian Education, who recommends or advises the White House and Congress on funding for Indian education programs. My grandmother lived up to her Indian name “Lead Woman”, she was a positive role model not only inspired me but many people in my community.

Most leaders are just like her, they lead for the people not for themselves.  I would want to  be just  like Alyce, it’s amazing how leaders can put their needs to the side just  to help out the  people  in need. Leaders can also be somewhat of a manager,  I want to be the leader that leads    with the people, not for myself or managing and bossing the people, I want to be with them. I     want to hear what they have to say and take notes. Alyce was that type of leader, she listened to  what her followers had to say and she tried her best giving them what they needed. That’s the    leader I try to be, they help so much people and they don’t expect anything in return. Those kind     of leaders are also loyal, you can depend  on them for almost anything. They have visions, my   vision would be to make our reservation more kid friendly. I don’t want to be the kind of leader    that commands that group, I want to be inspirational and someone a kid like me looks up too.

Leaders, they can be anyone but it depends if your willing to stay with it. This is how I want to lead, somewhat like Alyce  SpottedBear but with my own   style.




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