This fall, interns at the Cheyenne River Youth Project® had the opportunity to learn traditional Lakota arts at the nonprofit organization’s Cokata Wiconi (Center of Life) teen center. Classes, which included hide tanning and jewelry making, were made possible through a First Nations Youth & Culture Fund grant from the First Nations Development Institute.
Thirteen teen interns attended the hide-tanning class. On the first day, they scraped a deer hide to remove all the fur, boiled the brains, and learned the process of brain tanning. The next day, they scraped the brains off the deer hide, and then they rubbed and worked the hide until it was soft.
Nineteen interns attended the jewelry-making class. They painted on buckskin and learned to fashion the material into bracelets, necklaces and rings.