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2006 Lewis and Clark Essay Contest Winner Announced

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PIERRE, S.D. – A fourth grade student at White Lake Elementary School is the winner of the South Dakota Office of Tourism’s 2006 Lewis and Clark Essay Contest. Reed Johnson wrote about Lewis and Clark’s adventure while the expedition traveled through present-day South Dakota. He is the son of Randy and Marsha Johnson of White Lake. Essays were judged on creativity, grammar, spelling and the writer’s understanding of Lewis and Clark Expedition facts. As the first place winner, Johnson 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. Johnson’s essay is posted on Second through fifth place winners are Spencer Hopkins, Saint Michael’s Elementary School, Sioux Falls; Danielle Quinn, Timber Lake Elementary School; Justin Sudtelgte, Elkton Elementary School; and Jaycee Williamson, Whitewood Elementary School. 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: Johnson’s winning essay follows and can also be found at In 1806, explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark returned home after an expedition to the Pacific Ocean. Imagine that you are Lewis or Clark and you just returned from a trip of more than two years. The President has asked you to write a report about what you saw and experienced. What would you write in your report to President Jefferson about your findings? Make sure to give details about what you experienced in present-day South Dakota! Lewis and Clark in South Dakota By Reed Johnson Fourth-grade student, White Lake Elementary School, White Lake, S.D. Mr. President, Clark and I saw amazing things. We took our keel boats up the Missouri River. The Sioux Tribes were farmers and hunters. Most of the tribes traded and made peace with us. The Arikaras were farmers, but the Tetons were forcing them to trade with them. A tribe called the Yanktons told us about Spirit Mound and little mad men there. We went to the mound, but we saw no little men. The Tetons gave us trouble because they wanted to control the trade, but we made peace after a little while. We were able to smoke the peace pipe with many tribes that we encountered. We saw many animals like the beaver, bison, elk, golden eagle, bald eagle, sparrow hawk, swift fox, western pocket gopher, swans, white tailed deer, turkey, horned owl, grizzly bear, moose, mule deer, red fox, raccoon, antelope, and prairie dogs. It took us a long time, but we caught a prairie dog. You should look at the maps and journals. There were a lot of flat plains. It is good land for us that could be used for settlement and farming.