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The Young Native Writers Essay Contest is a writing contest for Native American high school students and is designed to encourage young Native Americans to write about their experiences as a member of a Native American community and the culture that inspires them.

The voices that emerge from this program honor the legacy of every Native American who has ever lived. Add your words to the thousands submitted through this project - all writers receive a Certificate of Honor for their submission.

The Holland & Knight Charitable Foundation's goal of promoting education and creating new opportunities for youth has inspired this essay contest. Partnering with Holland & Knight in this endeavor are the National Museum of the American Indian and the National Indian Education Association.


2013 Winners with NMAI Museum Director (left to right): Kaitlyn Boy (Blackfeet Nation); Taylor Archuleta (Choctaw Nation); Kevin Gover (Pawnee and Director of the NMAI); Morgan Gray (Chickasaw Nation); Constance Owl (Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians)*Not shown: Shanice Britton (Round Valley Indian Tribe).

Click the link below to view the winners.
2014 Winners

The 2014 Young Native Writers Contest Deadline has passed.

2014 Essay Contest Winners

Thanks to all the native writers who participated.

Aunna Woods (Pyramid Lake Paiute) at the Smithsonian's Cultural Resource Center.

"The words "thank you" do not give service to the true gratitude I feel for all of the great experiences I had as a result of the Young Native Writers Essay Contest sponsored by Holland & Knight. I will treasure every moment for the rest of my life. Thank you

Aunna Woods,
2012 First-Place Winner