The Cheyenne River Youth Project has announced its second quarter push to fund its endowment, which will go toward permanent sustainability for the organization’s programs that serve over 1,500 youth and 350 member families across the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation every year.

As one of the poorest communities in the nation, CRST’s children are faced with multiple challenges at home and on the streets, including drug and alcohol abuse, violence and hunger.  To help combat these issues, tribal members took over a run-down bar in 1988 and converted it to a safe place for our children to go after school to have a snack, get help with their homework, make art projects or simply play with their friends.

In just a short time, this program became a vital part of our community and one of the largest Native youth programs in the country.  As the organization continued to grow, the 30,000-sq. ft. Cheyenne River Youth Project campus was developed with the support of our friends and partners.

“Both facilities were constructed with the idea that our children would have a place to call their own,”  says Julie Garreau, founder and executive director of CRYP. “As a homegrown, grassroots Native organization, we designed the organization specifically to address our own needs and to serve our youth in a way that is respectful of their Lakota culture and traditions as a tribe. But we also have a lot of fun along the way.”

Today, non-profit organization continues to be that ‘safe haven’ for Lakota children and teens and the Cheyenne River Youth Project delivers programs to youth in the areas of health, wellness, arts, culture, leadership, education, literacy and so much more.

“We could not have made it to where we are today without the support of our volunteers and donors,” says Garreau. “They have put in literally thousands of hours and made contributions of every size that have made CRYP so special and unique, whether it’s our Christmas Toy Drive, Passion for Fashion, the MIdnight Basketball Tournament or even our garden. Every single thing we do is founded on the passion we have for making a better life for our youth.”

Because the Cheyenne River Youth Project has been such a critical youth and family program for those on the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation, an Endowment Fund was established in 2009 to help sustain the organization for many more years. To date, nearly $25,000 has been contributed to the Cheyenne River Youth Project Endowment. In celebration of our 25th anniversary, the Cheyenne River Youth Project is seeking to raise another $25,000 to match our current endowment.

Contributions for the endowment can be sent to Friends of the Cheyenne River Youth Project, P.O. Box 410, Eagle Butte, South Dakota 57625. (Checks should be made out to Friends of the Cheyenne River Youth Project.)

Alternatively, donors can also visit and make a contribution with their Visa or Mastercard. Funds will be accepted by the South Dakota Community Foundation and devoted exclusively to the programs of the Cheyenne River Youth Project.

Last year, over 1,500 youth and 350 families participated in programs and services in the Main Youth Center (serving kids age 4-12), the Cokata Wiconi Teen Center (13-18 teens), the Family Services Program and the Winyan Toka Win (Leading Lady) Garden.

As our friend, we welcome you to contribute to the continued success of CRYP and the many hundreds of children and families who rely on our programs and services each year.

For more information on the endowment, please contact Julie Garreau at, or follow us on Facebook, or at


Founded in 1988, the Cheyenne River Youth Project is dedicated to providing the youth of the Cheyenne River reservation with access to a vibrant and secure future through a variety of culturally sensitive and enduring programs, projects and facilities, ensuring strong, self-sufficient families and communities. Today, CRYP provides a wide variety of programs and services to the community, covering nearly 3 million acres in South Dakota.