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Entries for the 2015 Young Native Writers Essay Contest are due by April 15, 2015.

Enter the Young Native Writers Essay Contest


Each year the Young Native Writers Essay Contest encourages Native American students to write about their experiences as a member of the Native community and the culture that inspires them.

Essays of no more than 1,200 words about cultural images, symbols, or art forms that have been used by your American Indian, Alaska Native, or Native Hawaiian community to communicate a specific message or value can be submitted by April 15, 2015.

The essay should describe the image, explain how it was used historically by the community, reflect on your own experience with the image, and suggest how the image is still relevant today.

The essay contest is open to Native American high school students in grades 9-12. Five first place winners will receive an all expenses paid trip to Washington, D.C. to visit the National Museum of the American Indian and other sites. Winners also receive a scholarship of $2,500 paid directly to the college of their choice.

For official rules and more information, visit

Pictured, from left, are: Shenan Atcitty (Holland & Knight attorney), Lucyann Harjo (Young Native Writers Essay Contest teacher-chaperone), Kathleen Nilles (H&K attorney), Lindsey Hancock (Choctaw Nation/YNWEC winner), Womsikuk James (Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head/Lakota, YNWEC winner), James Meggesto (H&K attorney), Lynn Cutler (H&K/CHI, NMAI Board of Directors), Tristan Picotte (Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe/YNWEC winner), Kevin Gover (NMAI Director), Elizabeth Guerino (Choctaw Nation/YNWEC winner), Ahniwake Rose (NIEA Executive Director), Honorine Umwizerwa (H&K attorney ), Ellen E. Delaney (teacher/chaperone), Gigi Christopher (H&K attorney).

This contest is held by Holland & Knight Charitable Foundation, which partners with the National Museum of the American Indian and the National Indian Education Association.

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