605-964-8200|lakotayouth@gmail.com

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CRYP to Host Midnight Basketball Lock-In This Weekend!

The summer 2017 season of Midnight Basketball at the Cheyenne River Youth Project is coming to an end, and CRYP staff are preparing to commemorate the occasion with the nonprofit youth organization’s annual Midnight Basketball Lock-In. Open free to young people ages 13-18, the event will include Midnight Basketball, DJ in the Art Park, basketball and volleyball tournaments, back-to-back horror movies, and two hearty meals.

The revelry kicks off at 9 p.m. with Midnight Basketball in the Cokata Wiconi (Center of Life) teen center’s gymnasium. At the same time, teens can enjoy an outdoor DJ performance in the Waniyetu Wowapi (Winter Count) Art Park from 9 p.m. to 12:30 a.m., made possible by a “Native Performance Art Series” grant from NEA Artworks.

When Midnight Basketball concludes at 1 a.m., the fun doesn’t stop. Sports enthusiasts can participate in a one-hour volley ball tournament at 1 a.m. and a two-hour basketball tournament at 2 a.m. The gym will then be open for free play from 4 to 6 a.m.

Meanwhile, movie buffs can head for the Keya (Turtle) Cafe at 1 a.m. for the back-to-back screening of three horror films: “Autopsy of Jane Doe,” “Train to Busan” and “Ouija.”

CRYP staff will serve taco salad in the cafe at 2-3 a.m., with breakfast to come at 4-6 a.m. Both meals will feature fresh, nutritious ingredients from CRYP’s 2-acre, pesticide-free Winyan Toka Win (Leading Lady) garden. After breakfast, Cokata Wiconi’s doors will open, and the lock-in will come to an end.

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Keya Cafe to Close for Season on Aug. 18

August 14th, 2017|By |Community, Keya Cafe

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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July Hall of Fame: Jason White Horse

Cheyenne River’s young people immersed themselves in art during CRYP’s RedCan invitational graffiti jam this year. From the First Peoples’ Fund’s Rolling Rez Arts activities to the many ready-and-waiting walls in the Waniyetu Wowapi (Winter Count) Art Park, teens and littles alike expressed themselves creatively and energetically.

CRYP’s art interns were busy too. With the support of guest artists and instructors, they sketched their ideas and then hit the park, refining their color choices and styling, and practicing that elusive skill called can control. Jason White Horse was among them.

Sixteen-year-old Jason started painting roughly two years ago, and now he’s going through his second art internship in CRYP’s Waniyetu Wowapi Lakota Arts Institute. According to Tammy Granados, youth programs director, the internship has been valuable for this polite, attentive teen on more than one level—as his artistic skills have grown, so have his life skills.

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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

July 13th, 2017|By |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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    CRYP Will be Featured on OWN’s “The Hero Effect” on July 8

CRYP Will be Featured on OWN’s “The Hero Effect” on July 8

When “The Hero Effect” returns to the Oprah Winfrey Network this Saturday, it will travel to South Dakota’s remote, 2.8-million-acre Cheyenne River Lakota reservation and shine a spotlight on the nonprofit Cheyenne River Youth Project. The episode is scheduled to air at 10 a.m. Eastern / 9 a.m. Central on OWN.

In this episode, viewers will have the opportunity to meet a variety of Cheyenne River community members, from elders and youth to the dedicated founder and executive director of CRYP, Julie Garreau.

“Julie has guided CRYP since it opened its doors nearly 30 years ago,” said Tammy Granados, youth programs director. “Thanks to her extraordinary vision, her willingness to work hard, her commitment to mentoring the next generation of Lakota leaders, and the boundless love she has for this community and its youth, we’re serving our second generation of children and have grown from a small, volunteer-run youth center to an entire campus. We’re so grateful that ‘The Hero Effect’ team discovered the woman who is a hero to so many people here—and throughout Indian country.”

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    RedCan Wins Americans for the Arts’ 2017 Robert E. Gard Award

RedCan Wins Americans for the Arts’ 2017 Robert E. Gard Award

This month, Americans for the Arts awarded its 2017 Robert E. Gard award to the Cheyenne River Youth Project® for its annual RedCan graffiti jam. CRYP was one of just 10 finalists for the esteemed award, which celebrates exemplary work at the intersection of the arts and community life.

“We’re deeply honored that Americans for the Arts chose RedCan for this year’s award,” said Julie Garreau, CRYP’s executive director. “When we created RedCan two years ago, we knew that graffiti and street art resonated with our youth; through art, we wanted to provide them with new tools to explore their identity, share their stories, and find their unique voices.

“We never imagined how RedCan would grow and evolve in such a short time,” she continued. “Yes, it’s about our youth—healing them, and strengthening the connection to their culture—but it’s also about loving our community, and lifting it up together.”

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