Mayflower Heart Promo Image

For thousands of years, our continent was the homeland of thousands of indigenous people, but 2020 marks the 400th anniversary of the arrival of European colonizers to our shores aboard the Mayflower. The appearance of this single group to the land they called America led to a transformation of this continent; and its people. Population, language, government, agriculture, learning and beliefs were all radically and forcibly changed – giving way to the genocide, forced relocation and cultural diminishment of Native Americans.

But this was not the end of the story. Resilience, Education & Strength brought Native people to a place of resurgence 400 years later. Today, we have the right and the capability to acknowledge our traumatic history, while proudly claiming new authority and influence of the world we live in today. This society is equally ours, and we are transforming colonized structures and institutions by weaving our closely held knowledge and values into modern life. Tribal colleges and universities are at the core of this movement, and the essential network they provide supports and inspires generations of American Indian communities.

This journal will be a testament of that protest, reconciliation and progress. It is reflective of the grounding of Native students in the ritual practices and teachings of their ancestors, while inspiring and guiding them to take responsibility for the next seven generations. The future is ours to inhabit and lead. The lessons of 400 years are still with us, but do not define us.


Call for Submissions

The American Indian College Fund and the Tribal College Journal are seeking written, art and video submissions providing Native reflections on the Mayflower during this 400th anniversary of its arrival. All Native high school and college students are eligible to submit.

60 Official selections will be made for the Journal in the areas of writing, art, photography and video.  Each official selection will receive $200, and recognition in the Journal of Native Reflections on the Mayflower.

Submissions Open: September 1, 2020
Submissions Close: October 9, 2020
Journal Publication Date: TBD 2021


Selection Categories

Essay/Writing (20 Official Selections)
Art (20 Official Selections)
Photography (10 Official Selections)
Film (10 Official Selections)


Submission Rules

  • All entrants must be a Native American registered high school or college student
  • All submissions must be the original work of the entrant
  • All submissions must be received by the October 9, 2020 11:59 pm MST deadline
  • Entries must not have been previously published or premiered, excepting those published on or submitted for the 2020 AIHEC student conference.
  • Entries not conforming to contest rules, terms and conditions will be disqualified.


Essay/Writing Submission Rules

  • Writing entries must be entries must be submitted in Microsoft Word. Submissions must be doubled spaced, and can only use 12 point Times New Roman font
  • Entries cannot be more than 1,000 words (about four double-spaced pages)
  • Entries containing passages in a Native language must be accompanied with an English translation and an appropriate Native language font when necessary
  • Only one writing submission will be accepted from each entrant
  • Writing submissions can take any format (essay, poetry, short story, etc.)
  • Submissions may be edited for space, style, or appropriateness
  • Submissions may be edited for grammar, spelling, possible word replacement or reformatting, if necessary. If your entry requires substantial changes, our copy editor will contact you directly for suggested changes.


Art/Photography Submissions Rules

  • Art/Photo submissions must be uploaded according to instructions in the form below. Be sure that they are jpg or pdf format.
  • The image itself can be the art form (painting, drawing, or photograph) or it can be a photograph of a three-dimensional object, such as a sculpture. Submissions must be large, with a resolution of at least 300 dpi/ppi, and a file size of at least 2 MB.
  • Up to two art/photography submission will be accepted from each entrant.


Video/Film Submissions Rules

  • Video/Film submissions must be uploaded according to instructions in the form below. Be sure that the film is in one of the following formats: wmv, mp4, mov, or avi. Any files that are unable to be uploaded can be mailed on disc or hard drive to: David Bledsoe, American Indian College Fund, 8333 Greenwood Blvd, Denver, CO 80238
  • Film submissions can be no longer than 30 minutes in length
  • All people assisting in the film production must be an eligible tribal college student or employee
  • Each entrant may submit up to two films


Submission Review

Each category of submissions will be evaluated by a committee of 3 industry professionals. Final selection decisions lie with the American Indian College Fund and the Tribal College Journal.

Selection Acknowledgements

Each entrant whose submission is official selection will receive $200, a certificate of selection, and a copy of the Journal of Native Reflections on the Mayflower. All officially selected entrants will also be listed in the Journal.


Terms & Conditions

By submitting your artwork, writing, and/or film, you acknowledge the American Indian College Fund and Tribal College Journal’s right to use all customary means to publish and distribute the work, including not only within the TCJ magazine and website but also through various on-line services, digital editions, social networking sites, e-books, published book compilations, and mobile digital applications.

The entrant certifies that this writing/artwork/film is original and that the entrant has the authority to make this agreement. The entrant also certifies that the writing/artwork/film does not infringe upon any copyright or contain any libelous or unlawful matter.

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