Honouring the Gifts: MKO Youth Cultural Celebration

Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak (MKO) Inc. is pleased to host a virtual festival for youth ages 12 to 17 called Honouring the Gifts: MKO Youth Cultural Celebration from June 21-25, 2021.

The festival will honour, celebrate, and empower youth as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. The festival will focus on Indigenous arts and culture in various categories, including traditional dance, music, arts & crafts, and poetry.

Save the dates of June 21 to 25 to participate. MKO is gathering many wonderful prizes, including iPads and iPhones, for the contests we will host for youth.

You can download a PDF copy of the contest details here or scroll down to review the rules. To participate, we are asking you to join a Facebook group where you will be able to take part in our contests.

Stay tuned to our MKO social media channels and our website for more information and announcements about the celebration:

“As a former teacher, I continue to be concerned about children and teenagers as we live through this COVID-19 pandemic. I know the pandemic has impacted youth in major ways, with schools shutting down, sports being more difficult to access, and travel being restricted. I also know youth are missing their friends and extended family as the restrictions mean we cannot have any gatherings. With this upcoming celebration, MKO is aiming to create a safe, online space where youth can gather, share their talents, and have some fun during the first week of summer.”
~Grand Chief Garrison Settee


MKO recognizes the following sponsors of the youth celebration:

  • Northwest Company
  • MB Indigenous and Northern Relations
  • Thompson Vale
  • Unifor National and Local
  • Sysco Foods
  • Perimeter Aviation
  • Bell MTS
  • FastAir Ltd.
  • Winnipeg Foundation
  • Pukatawagan Community Enhancement and Recreation
  • Workplace Solutions
  • Kennedy Energy
  • NCI FM
  • Thompson Inn
  • Burntwood Hotel
  • Thompson Ford
  • Mystery Lake Hotel
  • Northland Ford

MKO is seeking sponsors and partners who want to invest in youth of the North. If you are interested in sponsoring the celebration, please contact our event coordinator.

Meet our event coordinator: Paywapan Colomb

My name is Paywapan Colomb, I am a Mathias Colomb Cree Nation band member of Pukatawagan, Manitoba. I grew up in Pukatawagan until I left to further my education after my high school graduation, which has brought me to Winnipeg Manitoba where I currently reside.

If you are interested in sponsoring the event, please contact Paywapan by:

Email: [email protected]

Phone: (431) 336-3098

Official Contest Rules


Honouring the Gifts: MKO Youth Cultural Celebration

June 21 to June 25, 2021

Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak (MKO) Inc. is hosting contests for MKO youth ages 12 to 17 starting today, June 11, 2021, and running until 11:59 pm on June 20, 2021.


Contest winners will receive either:

  • one Apple iPhone 12 Pro; OR
  • one iPad Air

We have a total of 50 Apple products to award to youth ages 12 to 17 from MKO communities. We may also provide Northern Store gift cards and other prizes to some contestants, at our discretion.

We are awarding at least 10 Apple products as prizes in each of the following age categories:

  • Ages 12 to 13
  • Ages 14 to 15
  • Ages 16 to 17

Contest categories:

  1. Dancing (10 prizes)
  2. Drawing, painting, and poetry (10 prizes)
  3. Music (10 prizes)
  4. Photography or videography (10 prizes)
  5. Regalia and beadwork (10 prizes)

Contest details:

There are five contest categories. Youth can choose to enter each category once. They can also choose to enter only one category:

  1. Dancing: This can include traditional pow wow dancing, jigging, hip hop, jazz, or contemporary dance, etc. (10 winners)
  2. Drawing, painting, and poetry: Show us your creative talent come to life as a drawing, painting, or a poem. Please keep any poetry entries to a maximum of 750 words. (10 winners)
  3. Music: You can sing us a song or perform a tune on an instrument. (10 winners)
  4. Photography and videography: Show us your best photo or video that reflects the beauty of Northern Manitoba. (10 winners)
  5. Regalia and beadwork: If you create any regalia, including beadwork, share it with us. The regalia or beadwork must be completed by the youth. (10 winners)

If you are entering in the drawing/painting; photography/videography; and regalia and beadwork categories, please aim to include the following:

  • A photo of the project all materials laid out before the artwork has been created
  • Pictures or videos of youth doing the work
  • Final touches/final product.
  • A short explanation about what the item means to you and why


Who is eligible?

This contest is open to all youth aged 12 to 17 who are members of the MKO communities. The 26 communities are:

  1. Barren Lands First Nation, Brochet
  2. Bunibonibee Cree Nation, Oxford House
  3. Chemawawin Cree Nation, Easterville
  4. Fox Lake Cree Nation, Gillam
  5. God’s Lake First Nation, God’s Lake Narrows
  6. Granville Lake First Nation, Leaf Rapids
  7. Manto Sipi Cree Nation, God’s River
  8. Marcel Columb First Nation, Lynn Lake
  9. Mathias Colomb Cree Nation, Pukatawagan
  10. Misipawistik Cree Nation, Grand Rapids
  11. Mosakahiken First Nation, Moose Lake
  12. Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation, Nelson House
  13. Northlands First Nation, Lac Brochet
  14. Norway House Cree Nation
  15. Opaskwayak Cree Nation
  16. O-Pipon-Na-Piwin Cree Nation, South Indian Lake
  17. Pimicikamak Cree Nation, Cross Lake
  18. Sapotaweyak Cree Nation, Pelican Rapids
  19. Sayisi Dene Denesuline Nation, Tadoule Lake
  20. Shamattawa First Nation
  21. Sherridon First Nation
  22. Tataskweyak Cree Nation, Split Lake
  23. York Factory First Nation, York Landing
  24. War Lake First Nation, Ilford
  25. White Water Reserve, Saskatchewan
  26. Wuskwi Sipihk Cree Nation


How to enter:

Any time between now and June 20, 2021, join our MKO Facebook page MKO’s Youth Cultural Celebration here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/924633718105730

Once you (or your helper, such as a guardian or teacher) has joined the Facebook group, you can upload your video or image submission directly to the group. With your post, include:

  • The full name of the youth entering the contest
  • Their current age
  • The name of their MKO community*
  • The name of the community where you live
  • The category of the contest you are entering (for example, music or dancing)

*Please note that youth may need to show their connection to their MKO community if they are declared a winner. MKO will provide direction on steps to confirm identity in order to claim a prize.

You must share your entry by 11:59 pm Central Time on June 20, 2021, to our MKO Youth Cultural Celebration Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/924633718105730  

Limit of one entry per person per contest.

Submissions for all contest categories are to include the age of the youth, the contest category they are entering, and name of their MKO community along with the image.

Please include a short description of what your entry means to you.

How we will award prizes:

  • On June 25, 2021, there will be a panel of judges who will choose 10 winners from the various age categories (ages 12-13, ages 14-15, and ages 16-17), from each of the five contest categories from all eligible entries received during the contest period.
  • Youth are only eligible to receive one Apple prize as a result of their participation in this contest.
  • We will contact winners through Facebook.
  • Winners should claim their prize as instructed by MKO no later than seven days after the date they are initially contacted.
  • Prizes can be picked up by the contestant at our Thompson or Winnipeg office.
  • Alternately, we will offer to mail the prize through Canada Post along with a tracking number to an MKO contact in the community, who will award the prize to the winner and take a photo of the winner with their prize for MKO.
  • If a winner cannot be reached within seven days following the first attempt of contact, or declines the prize, MKO has the right at its sole discretion to select another winner and subject to meeting all the conditions described in these rules.

Contest rules:

  • To be declared a winner, all information must be accurate and provided with your submission.
  • The prize shall be accepted as is. It may not be exchanged or refunded for an amount of money, sold, or transferred. No substitutions will be allowed.
  • If the prize cannot be awarded as described in these rules, MKO reserves the right to substitute a prize or prize component with another of comparable value, as determined in its sole discretion.
  • Refusal to accept the prize releases the contest parties from any obligation toward the winner.
  • If a contestant makes any false statement, s/he will be automatically disqualified from the contest.
  • The contest parties assume no liability for any loss, damage, or injury, including without limitation: (i) lost, stolen, delayed, damaged, misdirected, late, destroyed, illegible, or incomplete submissions; (ii) loss, theft, or damage to software or computer or telephone data, including any breach of privacy; (iii) inability of any person to participate in the contest for any reason including mistaken addresses on mail or email; technical, computer, or telephone malfunctions or other problems with computer on-line systems, servers, access providers, computer equipment, or software; congestion on the Internet or at any website, or any combination of the foregoing; (iv) damage to any person’s computer, including as a result of playing or downloading any material relating to the contest; or (v) prizes that are lost, damaged, or misdirected during shipping.
  • All personal information, such as name and contact information, is collected by MKO solely for the purposes of administering this contest and the distribution of the contest prizes.
  • All personal information collected shall not be used for any other purpose without your express consent. By providing this information, you consent to it being used for the stated purposes.
  • MKO reserves the right to change the contest rules or to terminate the contest at any time without any liability to any contestant. Any changes to these contest rules will be posted on the website.
  • By entering, you agree to abide by the contest rules and the decisions of MKO, which decisions are final and binding on all contestants.
  • Entry videos and photos become the property of MKO. MKO reserves the rights to share your entries on our social media platforms or in printed materials, such as our annual report.
  • If you attempt or are suspected of attempting to enter more than once per contest, it shall be deemed as tampering and will void your entry.
  • Age of participants: To be eligible, participants must be 12 years old as of June 21, 2021. Older participants must still be 17 years old by June 21, 2021.


Contact the festival coordinator for more information:

Paywapan Colomb
Phone: 431-336-3098
Email: [email protected]