Haley Richardson, a Grade 12 student at Mark R. Isfeld Secondary School, has won the grand Prize in the Grade 9-12 category of the A&E Lives That Make a Difference Essay Contest.
Richardson’s essay on the Franklin Expedition was chosen from thousands of submissions received this year for the nationwide contest.
As a grand prize winner, Richardson will receive $3,000 and her teacher, Shawn Holland, will receive $1,000 for use in his classroom.
Richardson’s essay focuses on the excitement and significance of finding a lost piece of Canada’s history. She described the role Inuit legends played in its success, describing how “it showed that the aboriginal mythology was more than just stories, but as much a part of our history as anything else.
“Franklin’s Expedition has made all Canadians, aboriginal and non-aboriginal alike, realize that we are more than just explorers. We are storytellers and fable-makers, and that our history—and by extension our culture—is a mosaic, rather than a photograph.”
“The Franklin Expedition was a huge international success story for Canada,” said Dr. Libby O’Connell, senior vice-president, A&E.
“Haley’s essay captures both the excitement of the nation, and the significance of the discovery. Her eloquent writing and unique perspective made her essay stand out amongst her peers.”
Editor’s note: Due to space constraints, we could not publish the essay, but we have posted it online. To read Haley’s essay, go to bit.ly/1KBjiEB