A Kelowna teen has won a top honour in a writing competition for Indigenous people.

Hanna Sault-Hartwick, 16, won first place in the junior writing category of the Indigenous Arts and Stories contest. She won $2,000 for her story, “Whole.”

“This story . . . showcases the experience that I have had while grown up as the daughter of an Indigenous woman and Caucasian man,” Sault-Hartwick said in her artist statement.

“Sometimes, it is hard to balance both worlds, because people have a preconceived idea of what someone should be like in each of these roles,” she said.

Another Kelowna resident, 21-year-old Ashleigh Giffen, placed second in the senior writing category of the same contest for her piece, “Copper Dust.”

The competition invites First Nations, Metis and Inuit artists between the ages of six and 29 to interpret an aspect of their culture and heritage through literary and visual arts for a chance to earn prizes and national recognition.

This year’s contest drew almost 1,000 submissions, the most in the competition’s 15-year history.

Sault-Hartwick is of Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation. Giffen is of Oji-Cree and Pueblo.

“This contest continues to showcase the eloquence and talent of Indigenous youth throughout Canada, and we are proud to provide a platform to amplify their stories,” said Anthony Wilson-Smith, president and CEO of Historica Canada, the contest organizer.

The awarded pieces by the Kelowna residents can be read at our-story.ca.