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2005 Lewis and Clark Essay Contest Winner Announced

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PIERRE, S.D. – A fourth grade student at Canistota Elementary School is the winning essayist in the South Dakota Office of Tourism’s 2005 Lewis and Clark Essay Contest. Shaka Taylor wrote about his favorite Lewis and Clark adventure while the expedition traveled through present-day South Dakota. He is the son of Kim and Jordan Taylor of Canistota. Essays were judged on creativity, grammar, spelling and the writer’s understanding of Lewis and Clark Expedition facts. As the first place winner, Taylor receives $100, a two-night stay in a camping cabin at one of South Dakota’s state parks or recreation areas along the Missouri River, a South Dakota state park entrance license, four tickets to the Cultural Heritage Center in Pierre, a Lewis and Clark book and other Lewis and Clark items. Taylor’s essay is posted on and South Dakota Public Broadcasting’s Web site, He will also read his work on South Dakota Public Radio. Second through fifth place winners are Dana Kaufman, Freeman Elementary School; Joanna Carro, South Canyon Elementary, Rapid City; Ashlyn Landsman, White Elementary School; and Betsy Schutte, Gertie Belle Rogers Elementary, Mitchell. 2004 marked the 200th anniversary of Lewis and Clark’s historic journey through present-day South Dakota. The national bicentennial commemoration continues through 2006. The South Dakota Office of Tourism partnered with the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks and the South Dakota State Historical Society to host the contest. -30- Media Note: Taylor’s winning essay follows and can also be found at Lewis and Clark in South Dakota By Shaka Taylor Fourth-grade student – Canistota Elementary School, Canistota, S.D. Lewis and Clark were sent by President Jefferson to explore the lands to the Pacific Ocean. They were known as the Corps of Discovery and as they entered South Dakota, the tribes told them that there were eighteen inch devils living on Spirit Mound. This is my favorite part of their adventure. They came to the area of Spirit Mound on August 25th, 1804. After walking for hours in sweltering heat to reach the Mound, they did not find any little devils, but instead discovered a huge herd of buffalo on the prairie. What an awesome sight! They learned that the buffalo were very important to the Indians as they used them for teepees, food and clothing. I liked this part of the journey because it must have been full of excitement and bravery. Spirit Mound stands by Highway 19, 6 miles north of Vermillion. The Spirit Mound Historic Prairie is managed by the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks. Lewis and Clark described and sketched animals they found in South Dakota. They saw some prairie dogs and called them “barking squirrels”, pronghorns were called “goats.” They also wrote about prairie wolves, coyotes and buffalo.