605-964-8200|lakotayouth@gmail.com

Cokata Wiconi Teen Center

  • IMG_4408
    Permalink Gallery

    Acclaimed Artist Scape Martinez Will Lead CRYP Graffiti Art Camp on May 30-June 2

Acclaimed Artist Scape Martinez Will Lead CRYP Graffiti Art Camp on May 30-June 2

The Cheyenne River Youth Project® has announced that acclaimed San Jose, California-based artist and writer Scape Martinez will lead a four-day graffiti art education camp at its Eagle Butte campus from Tuesday, May 30 to Friday, June 2, with lessons taking place from 1 to 5 p.m. each day. Martinez will focus on “Can Control” and “Mural Creation Basics” during the hands-on, intensive mural and graffiti art camp, which is open to all teens.

The camp will begin with the basic principles of can control as well as the mechanics of aerosol paint, its properties, and how to use it as a tool for personal expression. From there, Martinez will teach blends, cuts, fades, outlines, stencils and more advanced can-control techniques, and the teens will have an opportunity to each design a unique piece. The fourth day will be dedicated to a collaborative outdoor painting workshop in the nonprofit youth project’s innovative, public Waniyetu Wowapi (Winter Count) Art Park.

Throughout the four-day experience, Martinez will guide students through the rigorous lessons and activities so they understand the creative and mural-making possibilities of spray paint. He also will encourage the students to explore their own identities and creativity in a supportive environment, discuss their work and exchange ideas, and provide respectful, reassuring critiques within the group.

Read More

May Hall of Fame: Sunni Dupris

At the Cheyenne River Youth Project, we’ve worked hard over the years to develop a programming mix that allows us to reach as many young people as we can, and then develop deeper, more meaningful relationships with particular individuals over time. For example, we created Midnight Basketball in 1996 so area teens would have a safe place to play ball and hang out with friends on Friday nights—some weekends, we’ll see more than 100 kids come through our doors.

We might not have the chance to get to know each of those 100-plus children personally through the basketball program. Sometimes, however, a passion for basketball turns into a passion for CRYP, and we have an opportunity to make a lasting difference in that child’s life.

That’s what happened with a young woman named Sunni Dupris, who first came to our Cokata Wiconi (Center of Life) teen center to play basketball. That turned into so much more.

Read More

Teen Art Interns Complete Architecture & Design Course

On April 27-29, the Cheyenne River Youth Project® welcomed Boulder, Colorado-based Pyatt Studio to its Eagle Butte campus for a three-day, intensive “Introduction to Architecture & Design” workshop. Rob Pyatt, principal and design director, and fellow designer Walt Pourier spent three days with 13 teen art interns who currently are pursuing their arts education through CRYP’s Waniyetu Wowapi (Winter Count) Lakota Arts Institute.

The intensive workshop familiarized the interns with architectural and design thinking, and it provided critical instruction in a variety of representational tools and media, including freehand drawing and basic model-making techniques. All interns received an official Certificate of Completion from Pyatt Studio and CRYP.

During their three days with Pyatt and Pourier, the interns developed local, relevant and personally meaningful design projects, and they explored aspects of architecture and design that aligned with their individual interests. They also learned about design research, communicating design ideas through drawing, testing designs through physical models, working collaboratively and sharing their design ideas with others.

Read More
  • Bear Butte 2
    Permalink Gallery

    CRYP Encourages Lifelong Wellness Practices Through Teen Internships

CRYP Encourages Lifelong Wellness Practices Through Teen Internships

For nearly 30 years, the Cheyenne River Youth Project® has been dedicated to building and nurturing healthy children through its innovative, resourceful youth programs. The launch of CRYP’S teen internship program at the Cokata Wiconi (Center of Life) teen center nearly three years ago took this vision to the next level.

Not only does CRYP offer teen wellness internships, it has designed wellness-oriented activities for all four cohorts, allowing the teen interns in the arts, social enterprise and sustainable agriculture to participate as well.

In the last four weeks, for example, CRYP has hosted Native Wellness training and physical assessments, comprehensive empowerment and team-building exercises, and cooking classes.

Read More

CRYP Hosts First Peoples Fund’s Rolling Rez Arts

On April 18-20, the Cheyenne River Youth Project® welcomed the First Peoples Funds’ Rolling Rez Arts mobile unit to the Cheyenne River Lakota Nation. Visiting artist Wade Patton and First Peoples Fund Coordinator Bryan Parker spent three evenings with the nonprofit youth organization’s teen arts interns, providing valuable instruction in multiple mediums.

On the first evening, the interns cut up pages from a ledger book and constructed a collage. Then, they either painted or used pastels to create unique visuals incorporating the ledger paper.

“The teens blended old ledger paper with contemporary images and ideas,” said Julie Garreau, CRYP’s executive director. “It was fascinating to see the beautiful and interesting ways they bridged the gap between the old and the new.”

Read More

CRYP Schedules Community Activities to Celebrate Earth Day

For the team at the Cheyenne River Youth Project®, a strong connection to the earth means a strong connection to traditional Lakota life ways, a critical component to holistic wellness and healing. That’s why Earth Day is a significant date on the CRYP calendar, and the nonprofit youth project is already gearing up for a weekend of special activities.

On Saturday, April 22, CRYP will host an eight-team, double-elimination basketball tournament for grades 6-8 in the Cokata Wiconi (Center of Life) teen center’s full-size gymnasium. The tournament is a CRYP fundraiser, so all proceeds from the $10 entry fee will support youth programming and services; each team can have up to 10 players and must wear like-colored shirts or jerseys to participate in the competition, with medals and prizes for first through third place.

The tournament will incorporate half-time spectator challenges and raffle tickets for a 50/50 drawing. Doors open at 8:30 a.m., and the tournament will begin promptly at 9 a.m.

Also that day, CRYP will lead a series of special Earth Day activities. Starting at 8:30 a.m., CRYP will lead a “March for Science,” which focuses on the effects of global warming. Staff members also will lead a trash pick-up effort in the community, followed by a grill party outside The Main youth center on East Lincoln Street. These events are open free to the public, and guests of all ages will be able to participate in a variety of outdoor fitness and sports challenges.

Read More

Nearly 70 Teens Attend Passion for Fashion in March

The Cheyenne River Youth Project® has announced that 68 young Lakota women attended its annual Passion for Fashion event on Saturday, March 25. CRYP staff anticipate that another 20 to 30 teens will participate in the program this month, as the nonprofit organization is accepting individual appointments to look at dresses, shoes and accessories until Wednesday, May 3.

The highlight of this year’s Passion for Fashion was keynote speaker Cecilia FireThunder, the first woman to serve as president of the Oglala Sioux Tribe. She spoke to the gathered Lakota teens about her personal journey and learning to walk in two worlds, finding the tools to function in both Lakota culture and contemporary society, taking care of themselves, and learning to say no.

“She was so honest and real with the girls,” said Julie Garreau, CRYP’s executive director. “She spoke to them about being the leaders for the next generation, and the importance of taking care of their children and families. She also reminded them how powerful they are, advising them to always stand up for themselves, protect themselves and, most importantly, love themselves.”

Read More

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.”

Read More

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.

Read More
  • Passion 4
    Permalink Gallery

    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.”

Read More