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Yearly Archives: 2017

March Hall of Fame: Genevieve Iron Lightning

When the Cheyenne River Youth Project designed its innovative teen internship program, it created four distinct internship areas to appeal to a diverse range of interests. Yet staff members are discovering that many teens choose to participate in all of them. Once the kids start learning, it seems, they don’t want to stop.

Genevieve Iron Lightning, 16, is one of those kids. She has participated in all four internships—sustainable agriculture, social enterprise, art, and wellness—and she says she appreciates the many different skills she has acquired through those opportunities.

“In the Keya Cafe, I liked making drinks and stocking the pastries and desserts,” she recalls. “The social enterprise internship taught me a lot of customer service skills, like how to address people and deal with issues.

“I also liked learning about public speaking,” she says of her internship experiences at CRYP. “I’m very vocal already, so it’s helpful to learn how to really draw people into what you’re saying.”

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Sponsor a Birthday Celebration at The Main

In recent years, the Cheyenne River Youth Project® has garnered significant attention for innovative new initiatives like the RedCan graffiti jam, the Waniyetu Wowapi (Winter Count) Lakota Arts Institute, and the teen internship program. Yet the nonprofit organization’s perhaps most significant efforts actually take place in the littlest building on campus — The Main youth center.

Since 1988, The Main has been a positive, safe place for 4- to 12-year-olds to enjoy healthy meals and snacks, do their homework and play with friends. Over the years, programming has expanded to allow them to explore their creativity through arts and crafts; learn more about nutrition, fitness and other forms of wellness; and strengthen their connection to the earth and to their own Lakota life ways through the Winyan Toka Win (Leading Lady) garden.

“The Main provides our first opportunity to reach Cheyenne River’s young people,” said Julie Garreau, CRYP’s executive director. “It gives us a chance to demonstrate to our kids that they can trust us to be there for them when they need us, and to give them what they need. We deeply care about our little Main, because our roots lie in that building. It’s how we started nearly three decades ago, and thanks to what we’ve done there, we’re now serving our second generation of children.”

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CRYP Hosts Cooking Classes for Kids of All Ages

This month, the Cheyenne River Youth Project® has invited children of all ages to participate in cooking classes at the nonprofit organization’s Eagle Butte campus. The younger children from The Main youth center were able to participate last Friday, March 10, while the teens have their night scheduled for this Wednesday, March 15.

Last Friday, the 4- to 12-year-olds who participate in activities at The Main were able to create their own homemade pizzas. The older children helped make the pizza dough while the younger ones participated in a “wellness hour,” then all the children finished the pizzas with their favorite ingredients and enjoyed a daily activity while the pies were in the oven. The older children served the pizza and called tables for everyone to be seated.

This Wednesday, youth programs assistants Wendell Nezzie and Danny Grassrope will host the teen cooking class at the Cokata Wiconi (Center of Life) teen center. The event will take place from 4 to 5:30 p.m., and it’s open free to any area teens who wish to attend.

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    CRYP Teaches Children to Grow Their Own Food Through Garden Club

CRYP Teaches Children to Grow Their Own Food Through Garden Club

Winter doesn’t stop the Cheyenne River Youth Project®. Although the growing season is still many weeks away, the nonprofit youth organization is already engaging children with the concepts of sustainable agriculture and food sovereignty—even the youngest children.

Last month, CRYP kicked off a new session of its Garden Club, inviting 4- to 12-year-olds who attend The Main youth center to learn more about gardening and healthy eating. From 4 to 4:30 p.m. on Tuesdays and Wednesdays through April 1, these children will work on creating their own herb gardens, with classes scheduled both in The Main’s kitchen and in the Cokata Wiconi (Center of Life) teen center’s classroom.

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    Cecilia FireThunder to be Keynote Speaker at This Year’s Passion for Fashion

Cecilia FireThunder to be Keynote Speaker at This Year’s Passion for Fashion

The Cheyenne River Youth Project® has announced that Cecilia FireThunder, the first woman to serve as president of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, will be keynote speaker at this year’s eagerly anticipated Passion for Fashion. The event is scheduled for 1 to 6 p.m. on Saturday, March 25 at the Cokata Wiconi (Center of Life) teen center in Eagle Butte.

“We’re honored to welcome Cecilia FireThunder to our community and to our 2017 Passion for Fashion event,” said Julie Garreau, CRYP’s executive director. “This event is all about lifting up our young Lakota women, in every aspect, from supporting their wellness to strengthening the connection to their culture. Cecilia has an impressive background in native health, wellness and education, with a particular emphasis on healing. We’re very much looking forward to giving our youth this opportunity to hear her speak.”

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    Attention, Teens: Come to Midnight Basketball and Learn More About CRYP’s Internship Program!

Attention, Teens: Come to Midnight Basketball and Learn More About CRYP’s Internship Program!

The Cheyenne River Youth Project® is inviting local youth to attend Midnight Basketball at the Cokata Wiconi (Center of Life) teen center on Friday, Feb. 24 and Thursday, Mar. 2. Not only will 13- to 18-year-olds have the always-welcome opportunity to play their favorite sport and hang out with friends, they’ll be able to learn more about the nonprofit youth organization’s innovative teen internship program.

On these two evenings, Midnight Basketball will incorporate a recruitment station where teens can get more information about upcoming internships in wellness, sustainable agriculture, social enterprise and the arts.

“We’re looking forward to meeting with kids who might not be fully aware of what we offer here,” said Tammy Granados, CRYP’s youth programs director. “Through the internship program, teens can earn their own money, earn valuable certifications, and gain real-life job experience.”

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February Hall of Fame: Claudia Iron Hawk

The beating heart of the Cheyenne River Youth Project’s Cokata Wiconi (Center of Life) teen center is its internship program. Created three years ago to provide Cheyenne River’s teens with opportunities to learn valuable job and life skills, the program now includes robust, innovative internships in sustainable agriculture, social enterprises, wellness and the arts.

Some teens gravitate to internships in just one area. Others, like Claudia Iron Hawk, are so inspired by what they’ve learned, they seek new opportunities at every turn. Claudia, 16, has already completed three sustainable agriculture internships, an arts internship focused on graffiti and street art, and a social enterprises internship, which involves operations in the youth project’s Keya (Turtle) Cafe and Keya Gift Shop.

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    It’s Not Just About the Prom: Support Passion for Fashion, and Help Lift Up Young Lakota Women

It’s Not Just About the Prom: Support Passion for Fashion, and Help Lift Up Young Lakota Women

A month remains to support the Cheyenne River Youth Project®’s 2017 Passion for Fashion event, which is scheduled for 1-6 p.m. on Saturday, March 25 at CRYP’s Cokata Wiconi (Center of Life) teen center. The nonprofit youth project is asking its friends and supporters to make an in-kind or financial contribution so it can make sure Cheyenne River’s young women will have a prom night to remember.

It’s about so much more than the prom, however. Since its inception 16 years ago, Passion for Fashion has proven to be a powerful venue for building friendships, multigenerational relationships, and positive self-esteem.

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    CRYP Announces Dates and Artists for 3rd Annual RedCan, Launches Fundraising Campaign

CRYP Announces Dates and Artists for 3rd Annual RedCan, Launches Fundraising Campaign

It’s the new year, and RedCan is rising once again. With interest in Indian Country’s first and only invitational graffiti jam hotter than ever, the Cheyenne River Youth Project® has announced the dates and featured artists for its 3rd annual RedCan—and has launched the fundraising campaign that will support this year’s event.

RedCan 2017 will take place from June 29 to July 1 at CRYP’s Waniyetu Wowapi (Winter Count) Art Park and at various sites across the city of Eagle Butte. Featured artists this year are Estria from Hawaii; East from Denver; Serval from Switzerland; Scribe from Kansas City, Missouri; Scape Martinez from San Francisco; Kazilla and ER from Miami; Dwayno Insano from Tucson, Arizona; and Biafra Inc., Cyfi and Wundr from Minnesota’s Twin Cities.

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    Waniyetu Wowapi Lakota Arts Institute Takes Shape; CRYP Seeks Artistic Director and Lakota Mentors/Teachers

Waniyetu Wowapi Lakota Arts Institute Takes Shape; CRYP Seeks Artistic Director and Lakota Mentors/Teachers

The Cheyenne River Youth Project® is moving ahead quickly with its plans for the innovative new Waniyetu Wowapi (Winter Count) Lakota Arts Institute. Not only has it embarked on a widespread search for a full-time artistic director to manage LAI operations and Lakota artists to serve as instructors and youth mentors, it is already hosting art classes focused on traditional Lakota crafts and is laying the groundwork for additional classes and camps.

The nonprofit youth organization has offered arts instruction to 4- to 12-year-olds throughout its nearly 30-year history, and to teens for the last decade. Now, thanks to grants from the ArtPlace America National Creative Placemaking Fund and NEA Our Town Technical Assistance, CRYP finally has the resources to realize its vision of a multidisciplinary, community-based arts institute at its Eagle Butte campus.

In the beginning, LAI will continue to support students in graffiti and street art education, a process that began more than two years ago with dedicated art classes and the inaugural RedCan graffiti jam. It also will teach traditional art skills, such as drawing and painting, and it will place a high priority on traditional Lakota arts.

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