Canku Ota Logo
Canku Ota
Canku Ota Logo
(Many Paths)
An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America
pictograph divider
by Lakota Children's Enrichment

The theme of this year’s Annual Writing and Art Challenge is …

Enter ONLINE HERE or submit your entry by email to and include in the memo line “2016 Entry”

Due Date for entries is FEBRUARY 16, 2016

The Prompt: Legends and Heroes

Is there someone you always wanted to meet? Did a person in recent or distant history have a huge positive impact on your life or culture? Is there a legend or a hero (past or present) who inspires you?

  • What’s a “legend?” According to the dictionary, it’s a story from the past that is believed by many people but cannot be proved to be true OR a famous or important person who is known for doing something.

  • What’s a “hero,” or the female version, a “heroine?” He or she is a person of any age who inspires you!

Make sure the entry conveys why you have chosen the legend or hero (male or female) and why you think that the person is important. Inspire us!

The Writing Challenge

Format: Write a letter to your hero (male or female), or a poem about a legend or hero. Letters, poems, spoken word submissions are all acceptable and can be written in anyone’s voice– get creative — video submissions are permitted but not required.

The following three age categories will be judged separately and anonymously:

  • Middle School: Grades 5 through 8; 700 word maximum: Grand prize $250

  • High School: Grades 9 through 12; 750 word maximum: Grand prize $350

  • Young Adult: Ages 17-24; 750 word maximum: Grand prize $350

  • Schools of the GRAND PRIZE WINNERS of the Writing Challenge will receive a $1,000 grant for materials for the school –only schools on the Pine Ridge Reservation are eligible for this award.

The Art Challenge

Format: Create an original drawing, painting or multimedia piece of art related to your legend or hero — which conveys a message either through symbolism or words. Do you have a favorite quote from your legend or hero? What does your legend or stand for?

  • Digital copies may be submitted by email;

  • Entries may be drawn in colored pencil, pencil, pen or markers (make sure they are clear)

  • Materials used to create the entry are less important than the drawing itself and its message– look at last year’s winners to get an idea of the broad range of artistic expression!

The following two age categories will be judged separately and anonymously:

  • Young Artists: Ages 11-15: Grand Prize: $250

  • Experienced Artists: Ages 16-24: Grand Prize: $350

The Official Rules

Entrants must be residents of Pine Ridge Reservation, and able to prove their residency to the satisfaction of the judges. Young Adults and Experienced Artists who reside on Pine Ridge Reservation and attend school full-time at schools off the reservation are eligible to enter. Young Adults and Experienced Artists who reside on Pine Ridge Reservation but are not enrolled in school are eligible and encouraged to apply!

All entries must be submitted electronically by 11:59 PM on February 16, 2016 to or through the ONLINE ENTRY FORM on our website. If entry is a video, then provide a link to your video, along will all other required information.

Runners Up may be awarded in any categories, at the judges’ discretion, and will be awarded $100 prizes.

All entries must be accompanied by multiple methods for contacting winners: email address of self, parents, teachers, phone numbers, etc. If do not hear back from you, then your prize will be given to someone else. Please see our ONLINE ENTRY FORM for all information which must be submitted with your entry.

By entering this Challenge, you represent that your entry is 100% your own original work and that you own all rights to the submitted materials. Once submitted, the poem, art work, audio and/or video will become the exclusive property of LCE. By entering, you grant LCE and anyone it may authorize permission to display your entry and biographical information. As a condition of entry, you irrevocably grant to LCE and their affiliates, legal representatives, assigns, agents and licensees a worldwide, royalty-free, non-exclusive, sublicensable, unconditional, perpetual and transferable right and license to use the entry in any manner, and entrants forfeit rights of privacy, intellectual property rights or other legal or moral rights that would preclude LCE from using the Contest Entry Material for promotional purposes and agree to never sue or assert any claim against the LCE’s use or distribution of those Materials. Any personal information supplied by entrant to YouTube or Vimeo will be subject to YouTube or Vimeo’s privacy policies.

If you are under 18 years old, a parent or guardian who has consented to the terms of this challenge must be identified in the entry, along with valid contact information for the consenting parent or guardian.


Due Date For Entry: FEBRUARY 16, 2016

Additional Resources

See our FAQ Post for frequently asked questions about the challenge

pictograph divider
Home PageFront PageArchivesOur AwardsAbout Us
Kid's PageColoring BookCool LinksGuest BookEmail Us
pictograph divider
  Canku Ota is a free Newsletter celebrating Native America, its traditions and accomplishments . We do not provide subscriber or visitor names to anyone. Some articles presented in Canku Ota may contain copyright material. We have received appropriate permissions for republishing any articles. Material appearing here is distributed without profit or monetary gain to those who have expressed an interest. This is in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107.  
Canku Ota is a copyright © 2000 - 2015 of Vicki Williams Barry and Paul Barry.
Canku Ota Logo   Canku Ota Logo
The "Canku Ota - A Newsletter Celebrating Native America" web site and its design is the
Copyright © 1999 - 2015 of Paul C. Barry.
All Rights Reserved.

Site Meter
Thank You

Valid HTML 4.01!