605-964-8200|lakotayouth@gmail.com

Community

Keya Cafe to Close for Season on Aug. 18

The Cheyenne River Youth Project® has announced that its Keya (Turtle) Cafe will close for the season this Friday, Aug. 18. As a signature component of the nonprofit youth organization’s social enterprise initiatives, the cafe will continue to offer catering services and serve as a hands-on classroom for teen interns through the winter months; it will reopen to the public in April 2018.

“We’re inviting our community members and any guests who might be passing through Cheyenne River to visit the Keya Cafe this week,” said Julie Garreau, CRYP’s executive director. “Not only do we want to connect with as many friends and neighbors as possible, those who enjoy meals, coffee drinks and homemade baked goods with us also are directly supporting our youth programming and our ongoing mission in this community.”

CRYP’s homemade jams, jellies and other items will still be available through its Keya Gift Shop year round. And, fresh produce will continue to be available at the Leading Lady Farmers Market through the remainder of the growing season (call 605-964-8200 for the latest schedule).

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    Applications Available 8/11-9/8 for New Youth Leadership Program!

Applications Available 8/11-9/8 for New Youth Leadership Program!

From this Friday, Aug. 11 until Friday, Sept. 8, applications will be available for the new “Growing into Wowachinyepi” program for youth leaders on South Dakota’s Cheyenne River Lakota reservation. The Cheyenne River Youth Project® recently joined forces with the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Native American Youth at the Aspen Institute to create this exciting one-year pilot project, which is modeled on CNAY’s national “Champions for Change” program.

This community-specific initiative is designed to respectfully honor young leaders in a culturally relevant youth recognition program, which is designed specifically for Lakota youth and the Lakota Nation’s traditional value system.

“Our community has its own unique outlook on what it means to be a leader, and what it means to achieve,” said Tammy Granados, CRYP’s youth programs director. “The Lakota word wowachinyepi means ‘one who the people can depend on’ — the ‘Growing into Wowachinyepi’ program seeks to promote that distinctly Lakota view of leadership while honoring and recognizing young people who exemplify our community values.”

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2017 School Supplies Drive Serves Hundreds

On Wednesday, August 2, CRYP hosted its annual School Supplies Drive distribution in the Cokata Wiconi (Center of Life) teen center’s gymnasium. Now, just days later, the grassroots, nonprofit youth organization has already provided nearly 300 children — from Headstart through high school — with the school supplies they need to start the new school year.

What’s more, additional children are arriving daily to search for their supplies, which means this year’s CRYP School Supplies Drive likely will serve another 150 to 200 children.

“Members of our Family Services program live in 20-plus communities across the Cheyenne River reservation, which is the size of Connecticut,” explained Tammy Granados, CRYP’s youth programs director. “Due to work schedules, the distances involved, and sometimes lack of transportation, some families cannot attend our actual distribution day. So we make sure that all the supplies are available right up until the first day of school for those community members, as well as for families who may have recently moved to the area.”

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Support CRYP’s 2017 School Supplies Drive by Aug. 1!

The Cheyenne River Youth Project® has announced that it is now accepting donations for its 2017 School Supplies Drive, scheduled to take place at the Cokata Wiconi (Center of Life) teen center from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 2. All members of CRYP’s Family Services program are welcome to participate with their children.

Families who aren’t able to attend the distribution are welcome to visit Cokata Wiconi at a later date to choose their school supplies. Each year, CRYP serves more than 500 Cheyenne River children at the scheduled August distribution and in the days and weeks to follow.

On South Dakota’s remote, 2.8-million-acre Cheyenne River Lakota reservation, which comprises two of the poorest counties in the nation, most families don’t have room in their budgets for annual school supplies. That’s why staff and volunteers at CRYP work so hard to organize and distribute these much-needed items to their community’s schoolchildren.

“Every child deserves to start the new school year with the tools he or she needs to be successful,” said Julie Garreau, CRYP’s executive director. “They also should be able to enjoy the excitement, anticipation and fun of preparing for the first day of school. At our distribution on Aug. 2, our kids will be able to choose their favorite items, help their parents make sure they’ve gotten everything on their lists, connect with friends, and be able to start the new year at the same starting line as everyone else.”

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    CRYP and CNAY Join Forces on “Champions for Change” Youth Pilot Project

CRYP and CNAY Join Forces on “Champions for Change” Youth Pilot Project

The Cheyenne River Youth Project® has announced that it is joining forces with the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Native American Youth at the Aspen Institute to create an exciting one-year youth pilot project on South Dakota’s Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation. Modeled on CNAY’s national “Champions for Change” program, this local initiative will be designed to recognize youth leaders within the community, and to elevate and support the voices and priorities of those young people.

“Far too often, because of their circumstances and where they come from, our youth are put into a box,” said Julie Garreau, CRYP’s executive director. “They believe this is who they are, and who they will become. But we imagine them out of that box, we give them the tools to break down those walls, and we help them see what they can do, what’s possible, what’s attainable.

“This partnership with CNAY means a great deal to us,” she continued. “It’s a natural extension of what CRYP has been doing for nearly 30 years… providing our kids with options, opportunities, and ultimately access to a healthier, more vibrant future.”

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AN OPEN LETTER TO OUR COMMUNITY

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.

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RedCan 2017 Gift Items Now Available for Purchase Online

The Cheyenne River Youth Project® has announced that its signature RedCan gift items are now available for purchase online through its website at lakotayouth.org; from the home page, simply click “RedCan” and then “Shop.” All proceeds from RedCan gift purchases will benefit the nonprofit youth organization’s programming and services.

Gift items include RedCan 2017 T-shirts, posters, coffee mugs, and special edition whole bean and ground coffee. All feature this year’s RedCan logo, created by acclaimed Kansas City, Missouri-based artist Scribe, who is returning to Cheyenne River this year for his second RedCan experience.

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    CRYP and DQ Will Host Annual “Sweet Tooth for Youth” on June 18-24

CRYP and DQ Will Host Annual “Sweet Tooth for Youth” on June 18-24

For the eighth year in a row, the local Dairy Queen in Eagle Butte, South Dakota, is planning to host a very special fundraising event to benefit the Cheyenne River Youth Project®. From Sunday, June 18 to Saturday, June 24, $1 from the purchase of each Blizzard, shake or malt will be donated to the local nonprofit, grassroots youth organization.

During “Sweet Tooth for Youth,” the youth project’s staff and DQ owners Lonnie and Jackie Heier are hoping to raise $2,000 to benefit summer youth programming at The Main, CRYP’s youth center dedicated to 4- to 12-year-olds. These programs include Bike Club, Summer Literacy, Garden Club, arts and crafts, and other innovative daily activities; the funding also will support summer field trips for the younger children.

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Now Available: Schedule for RedCan 2017

The Cheyenne River Youth Project® has just released the schedule of events for its upcoming 2017 RedCan graffiti jam. The eagerly anticipated arts and culture festival is scheduled for June 29-July 1 in Eagle Butte, South Dakota.

Thirteen headline artists from eight states and Switzerland will attend this year’s RedCan event. More than half have indigenous heritage, including Taino, Hawaiian, O’odham, Yacqui, Cherokee and Lakota; in addition to painting at mural sites around town and in CRYP’s free public Waniyetu Wowapi (Winter Count) Art Park, they also will be painting alongside local native artists, attending the teen art interns’ exhibition as honored guests, leading youth art workshops, and giving young people the treasured opportunity to paint alongside their heroes.

Featured artists this year are Estria from Hawaii; East from Denver; Serval from Switzerland; Scribe from Kansas City, Missouri; Kazilla and ER from Miami; Cyfi, Wundr and Biafra Inc. from Minnesota’s Twin Cities; Scape Martinez from San Francisco; Dwayno Insano from Tucson, Arizona; and Siamese and Rehst from Rapid City.

“We’re stunned at how quickly RedCan has gone global,” said Julie Garreau, CRYP’s executive director. “In just two short years, we’ve reached artists around the world with our message, and they’re contacting us to express interest in attending. It’s incredible.”

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Help CRYP Raise $10,000 to Support RedCan 2017!

The third annual RedCan graffiti jam is two months away, and the Cheyenne River Youth Project® has launched a dedicated RedCan fundraiser to support its three-day arts festival. CRYP seeks to raise $10,000 in the next eight weeks.

Scheduled for June 29-July 1, RedCan will showcase 11 headline artists from seven states and Switzerland, more than half of whom have indigenous heritage, including Taino, Hawaiian, O’odham, Yacqui, Cherokee and Lakota. It also will incorporate traditional dancers, native drum groups, and a musical lineup featuring Ojibwe rapper TallPaul and Lakota hip-hop artists Dakota South.

What’s more, CRYP’s teen arts interns will host an exhibition of their work in the Cokata Wiconi (Center of Life) teen center, and youth of all ages will have a chance to attend arts workshops through the First Peoples’ Funds Rolling Rez Arts bus and to paint alongside their heroes in the free, public Waniyetu Wowapi (Winter Count) Art Park.

RedCan remains Indian Country’s first and only graffiti jam, and it is the signature event for CRYP’s Waniyetu Wowapi Lakota Arts Institute. RedCan gives Cheyenne River’s young people, and the community at large, an unparalleled opportunity to experience the contemporary graffiti art movement, learn about different techniques and styles, paint alongside master artists, and explore their own unique voice and identity as they share their stories through the visual arts.

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