Celebrating Canada’s talented young Indigenous writers and artists.
Indigenous Arts & Stories invites Indigenous youth aged 9 to 29 from across Canada to submit a piece of writing or a work of art about a defining moment or theme in Indigenous history or culture. Now in its fourteenth year, the program, formerly known as Aboriginal Arts & Stories, is the largest and most recognized art and creative writing competition in Canada for Indigenous youth. The contest is a national forum through which Indigenous youth can project their voices and share their visions by exploring and interpreting the diverse histories of their communities and the stories of current realities for Indigenous people in Canada.
The winning entry in this year’s Junior Writing category was “Being Creenuk” by Julia George, 18, of Kuujjuaraapik, Quebec. George is of Inuit and Cree descent. The Senior Writing winner was K Dawn Martin, 21, of Scotland, Ontario. Martin is a member of the Six Nations of the Grand River, and her winning entry was a poem titled “Kahnekanoron — Water is Life.”
In the Junior Arts category, the winner was Mackenzie Anderson, 16, of Winnipeg, who painted Nikawiy Nitanis, a visual exploration of the relationship between mother and daughter, and a tribute to missing and murdered Indigenous women. Anderson is a member of Pinaymootang First Nation in Manitoba. The Senior Arts winner was Alexander Angnaluak, 24, of Iqaluit, Nunavut. He was recognized for his drawing How the Narwhal Came to Be.
Historica Canada, which runs the writing and arts contest, also recognized younger entrants through Emerging Artist and Emerging Writer categories. The winning entries were Spirit Within, by Nathaniel LeCamp, 10, of the Osoyoos Indian Band, Oliver, British Columbia (arts category); and “Where is She?” by Sundance Mack-Matthews, 13, of Peawanuck Weenusk First Nation in Ontario (writing category).
To date, nearly 4,000 young people have participated in the contest. Contest winners receive national recognition each year at the Governor General’s History Awards, organized by Canada’s History Society. For many, the contest is an opportunity to share personal stories of their communities and families, encouraging confidence in their abilities as writers and artists while offering insight into the history and culture of Indigenous peoples for Canadians of all backgrounds. To explore more winning art and writing, visit Our-Story.ca.