OTTAWA -- An Ottawa photographer will have her work displayed at the National Gallery of Canada, after winning this year's Scotiabank New Generation Photography award.

Katherine Takpannie is one of three winners.   For her, winning this prize is not just about having her work displayed; she is able to share her Inuit culture.

"Reflecting a lot of the issues I learned regards to Inuit and Canada, and our relationship… It’s really a healthy way to express all the pain from the colonial past to our hopeful future," said Takpannie.

The National Gallery of Canada's associate curator of photographs Andrea Kunard says Takpannie’s work conveyed a message.

"I felt that she had a very, very kind of strong statement that she wanted to say about her life and her circumstances; and, that came through very powerfully with her imagery… Her vision, her strong imagery, her ability to be able to articulate visually her circumstance in life," said Kunard.

Takpannie wants to inspire other youth with her achievement.  

She left home at the age of 13 and grew up in foster homes, "I was a little bit of a delinquent, I used to actually with my friends get drunk behind the National Art Gallery."

She turned towards her Inuit culture, and now celebrates it using photography.

"Anyone can turn their situation around; I just hope that sharing my story I can help inspire other indigenous in Canada."