The Cheyenne River Youth Project would like to issue the following statement to address a recent incident that took place during this year’s RedCan art event. On the closing day of the event, the Cheyenne River Youth Project’s staff discovered potential theft of CRYP property on the part of one of the participating artists. This activity has been reported to law enforcement and is currently under investigation. We are also contacting this person to further address and resolve this situation. Security camera footage has documented the alleged theft, which clearly identifies the person responsible. As a result, CRYP made the difficult decision to remove that artist’s murals from the Waniyetu Wowapi Art Park.

CRYP greatly respects the dignity and creative work of all artists and has established the RedCan art event in an effort to foster and promote the work of Native artists through the Waniyetu Wowapi Art Park. Under normal circumstances, CRYP would never remove a person’s work from the park without attempting to resolve any issues with that person. Unfortunately, these were not normal circumstances, and the potential theft involved in this matter required CRYP to take appropriate action to limit this person’s participation in the RedCan art event. This potential illegal conduct was troubling to the dedicated staff and volunteers of CRYP, who followed established policies in dealing with this situation.

It is CRYP’s position that all actions taken in relation to this matter were both appropriate and necessary in order to address the situation, and CRYP is looking to adopt further safeguards to ensure this situation does not reoccur in the future. CRYP looks forward to the continued success of the RedCan art event and the future growth of the Waniyetu Wowapi Art Park, so it can continue to showcase the artwork of Native graffiti artists.