follow us on facebook follow us on twitter email us

Storytelling about Wellness in Tribal Communities

About the Challenge
Storytelling about Health and Wellness in American Indian and Alaska Native Communities

Posted By: National Institutes of Health
Category: Multimedia
Skill: Visual Media Interest: Health Submission Dates: 12 a.m. ET, Nov 28, 2016 - 11:59 p.m. ET, Jan 31, 2017 Judging Dates: Feb 01, 2017 - Feb 24, 2017 Winners Announced: Mar 06, 2017

In recognition of Native American Heritage Month, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) announces the “Storytelling about Health and Wellness in American Indian and Alaska Native Communities” Challenge. The goal of this Challenge is to develop a brief digital story (i.e., a video) that communicates how traditions and heritage promote health in American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/AN). The NIH invites the public to participate to share stories about: 1) how heritage and tradition leads to health and wellness in AI/AN communities; and 2) how future research can improve the health of American Indians and Alaska Natives. The videos will augment the agency’s ongoing efforts to inform a strengthened research portfolio that advances AI/AN research needs. This challenge is also designed to attract more interest and attention to the research needs of these communities and communicate these needs in a culturally appropriate manner.

Submissions are limited to a video that may not exceed five minutes. Submissions must be substantially free of scientific jargon and understandable by viewers without scientific/technical backgrounds. The video must include at least one member of a federally recognized tribe(s) and address the following:

  • A brief historical background that puts the story in context. For example, what is the traditional or cultural practice? How does it contribute to health and wellness in AI/AN populations?
  • A description of how this tradition or culture affects people’s lives. The impact could be lives saved, suffering reduced, fewer visits to health care facilities, adopting a healthier lifestyle, and similar such benefits. How is this practice promoted within tribal populations?
  • Information about the unmet health and wellness needs of AI/AN communities. What is the unmet need? Is there an understanding of what interventions or actions may help address these needs?
  • A discussion of how biomedical or behavioral research can further Tribal health and wellness. What are the current gaps in Tribal health research and opportunities for improving health in AI/AN communities?  What are some of the barriers or challenges in closing these gaps?  How would addressing them reduce mortality, improve quality of life, or otherwise positively affect Tribal communities?  The video must convey the research question of interest as part of a holistic picture of Tribal health or AI/AN communities.

Contestants must include a link to a public or unlisted video on,, or other internet accessible site. The submission may be disqualified if the video is primarily promotional, contains inappropriate material or language, or presents material unrelated to this challenge, as determined by the NIH.  A video must:

  • Be in English if dialogue is present. Use of Native language is encouraged but must include an English caption or other method of translation to English.
  • Be no longer than five minutes. The NIH recognizes that there may be a desire to prepare a longer video. However, any part of a video exceeding five minutes will be disregarded as part of the judging process.
  • Not include copyrighted material, such as music or photos, unless the Contestant has obtained written permission to use such material.
  • Not include proprietary information.
  • For any video with dialogue, captioning must be included or a written transcript of the video must be submitted in English to ensure the video can be understood by viewers with disabilities.
    • The video must remain posted at the URL submitted with the entry for at least one year after the Challenge closes. The video (or the link to it) may be displayed publicly on the NIH web site.
    • Before posting a video online, a Contestant must obtain consent from anyone appearing in the video. If a minor appears in the video, the contestant must obtain consent from the minor’s parent or legal guardian.

Technical Evaluation Panel

Submissions first will be assessed by a technical evaluation panel consisting of individuals who will review the relevance of the entry to the AI/AN communities, the accuracy of the advance and impact on AI/ANs, cultural sensitivity, and confirmation of the unmet research need(s) in AI/AN populations.

Judging Criteria

Quality, clarity, and historical accuracy

Is the information presented accurately and clearly?


Is the story educational, inspiring, and persuasive? Does it clearly convey how the culture or tradition being practiced promotes health and wellness? Does it clearly convey where research could continue to improve health and well-being?


The Challenge submission cannot have been previously published.

Digital technology

Does the video effectively use lighting, sound, and editing to tell the story? Is the dialogue clear and easy to understand? Do visual effects (if any) contribute to the message or detract from it? Does the video convey the intended message in the five minute limit? Is the video of sufficient quality to be posted on the Web? Is captioning or English translation available?

How to Enter

Entrants must register on to submit solutions. There is NO cost for contestants to participate in this challenge.

    • To submit an entry, click “Submit Solution.”
    • Make sure to include the URL to your video entry and that all video is either captioned in English or another method of translation to English if Native language is used in the video.Additional documents can be uploaded (e.g., Microsoft Word, PDF, etc.).



First Place $4,000.00 The first-place winner will be invited to attend a meeting of the NIH Tribal Consultation Advisory Committee. Travel and related costs will be reimbursed. Won by: Integrating Culture into Healthcare
Solution: Integrating Culture into Healthcare
Second Place $3,000.00 Won by: Return to Wellness
Solution: Return to Wellness
Third Place $2,000.00 Won by: Ohero:kon – Rites of Passage creating health and wellness for youth in Akwesasne
Solution: Ohero:kon – Rites of Passage creating health and wellness for youth in Akwesasne
Honorable Mention $500.00 Won by: University of Colorado Centers for American Indian and Alaska Native Health Pine Ridge Field Office
Solution: University of Colorado Centers for American Indian and Alaska Native Health Pine Ridge Field Office
Honorable Mention $500.00 Won by: Tatitlek: Change in the Wind
Solution: Tatitlek: Change in the Wind

10 Discussions for "Storytelling about Wellness in Tribal Communities"

  • Lora Kutkat
    Dear Challenge Participants, I want to thank you for your hard work in developing the creative and engaging entries for our first Storytelling Challenge! This Challenge generated considerable interest, and we received many exceptional entries. We were limited in the number of prizes to award, and the winners are announced on We will also post them at sometime next week. The winners are: 1st: Integrating Culture into Healthcare 2nd: Return to Wellness 3rd: Ohero:kon – Rites of Passage creating health and wellness for youth in Akwesasne Honorable mentions: 1) University of Colorado Centers for American Indian and Alaska Native Health Pine Ridge Field Office and 2) Tatitlek: Change in the Wind Thank you to everyone for your incredible efforts and moving stories. Lora Kutkat, NIH

  • Alyce Kuenzli
    Hi, We were wondering what the results of the competition are! The competition said winners would be announced March 6th?

  • RStGermaine
    Aaniin, We submitted a challenge and was congratulated on submission, and it shows up as a challenge but says "hidden". We were wondering if you had received it? Thank you for you reply

  • Levi Horn
    NativeYouthCouncil509 submitted a URL at 845 pm PT. I was wondering if you received this? We received a congratulations but I do not see it?

  • Show Replies [+]
    Good morning! Today is the final day to enter a submission for this challenge. I recommend uploading items early in case you experience technical issues. Thanks, Lora Kutkat

    • Reply
      Jennifer Probert
      I did have some technical problems today. I ended up uploading my video to you tube and emailed a link to that. I hope that worked... but I have no idea. Ahhh, help...from Alaska :(

  • lkutkat
    Good morning. I wanted to relay a couple questions/answers that came in. Has NIH had a challenge like this before? A: We have held challenges involving video submissions but not on this specific topic. In addition, NIH's National Library of Medicine has its "Native Voices" exhibit with videos, but those were not prepared as part of a challenge. See for Native Voices. Second, will NIH run the challenge again? A: We don't know at this point, but we appreciate the interest in another, similar challenge!

Add to the Discussion

Solutions View as List
Blessed Ground: Alaska Native Youth Connecting Through Dance
“Culture is prevention.”  In this short documentary from Fairbanks Native Associatio
Growing Healthy Families from Family, Faith and Culture
The Tamaya (Santa Ana Pueblo) Youth Wellness and Language and Culture Program has collaborated to
Language Warriors
This film was made in collaboration with The Bdote Learning Center in Minneapolis, MN. We decided
“It’s a process all year”
Mary Lou Bottorff, an Elder with the Kenaitze Indian Tribe, talks about how gathering, preparing

All submissions must be provided on

A complete listing of the Eligibility Rules can be found in the Federal Register notice. Below is a brief description of certain eligibility requirements. All entrants must:

  1. Register to participate.
  2. Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident of the United States; for businesses, be incorporated in and have a primary place of business in the United States.
  3. Not be a federal entity or federal employee acting within the scope of his/her employment.
  4. Not be an NIH employee, or member (or relative of a member) of the technical evaluation panel or judging panel.
  5. Not infringe on copyright or rights of a 3rd party.
  6. Assume all risks and waive claims against the federal government.
  7. Indemnify the federal government against 3rd party claims.
  8. Grant NIH a license to post, link to, share, and display entries
  9. Follow applicable laws, regulations, and policies


Submit Solution
Challenge Followers
Public Profile: 1
Private Profile: 10