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partnerships

  • A&M Presentation 1
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    Executive Director Julie Garreau Speaks at Texas A&M University History Conference

Executive Director Julie Garreau Speaks at Texas A&M University History Conference

Earlier this month, Cheyenne River Youth Project® staff members traveled from South Dakota to Bryan, Texas, for the 7th annual HGSO/PAT History Conference at Texas A&M University. The theme for this year’s conference was “Community. Culture. Conflict,” and CRYP Executive Director Julie Garreau was a featured speaker during the two-day event.

Designed for undergraduate and graduate students to present their research, the conference drew nearly 70 participants from universities in and outside of Texas, according to Brooke Linsenbardt, Texas A&M PhD student and conference co-organizer. She said the organizers sought to do something a little different this year, and that’s where CRYP came in.

“We specifically wanted to be more interdisciplinary and bring in a third speaker who is not part of the academy — not a historian at a university,” she explained. “We all believe that history is important to people in the present, and sometimes, historians forget this. People who engage with communities in the present time are doing very important work, and we wanted to create that bridge between the academy and the communities.”

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    Darrell Redleaf Will Be Keynote Speaker for 2016 Passion for Fashion

Darrell Redleaf Will Be Keynote Speaker for 2016 Passion for Fashion

Less than five weeks remain before the Cheyenne River Youth Project®’s annual Passion for Fashion event, where young women from across South Dakota’s 2.8-million-acre Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation come together to celebrate that classic American rite of passage, their high-school prom. And this year, they have a very special treat in store for them.

The 27-year-old, grassroots, not-for-profit youth project has announced that its keynote speaker will be Darrell Redleaf, a top celebrity hair stylist, makeup artist, product developer and TV commentator with 30 years of experience in the Hollywood glamour business. He also has personal ties to Cheyenne River.

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CRYP Remains Committed to Youth Wellness in 2016

The classical Greek philosopher Plato once wrote, “The part can never be well unless the whole is well.” The staff at the Cheyenne River Youth Project® understands this concept better than most; to make a real, lasting difference on South Dakota’s remote Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation, the 27-year-old, not-for-profit youth organization is dedicated to fostering holistic wellness among youth.

That means CRYP does more than provide a safe, positive place to play, study and socialize with friends. It also prepares nutritious snacks and meals using foods grown organically in CRYP’s 2-acre Winyan Toka Win (Leading Lady) garden. It encourages healthy self-expression through teen arts internships and the free, public Waniyetu Wowapi (Winter Count) Art Park. It teaches job and life skills through a variety of additional internships, workshops and classes. And, it devotes a large percentage of its time and energy to physical fitness.

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    January Partners of the Month: Our 2015 Christmas Toy Drive Champions

January Partners of the Month: Our 2015 Christmas Toy Drive Champions

This month, we’d like to express our deepest gratitude to a very special group of CRYP supporters: the champions of the 2015 Christmas Toy Drive. With their help, we smashed our goal of serving 1,500 children. This past December, CRYP and its partners brought Santa Claus to more than 1,600 children across the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation.

Please read on, and click on the individual links to learn more about these worthy organizations, each of which has demonstrated the true meaning of Christmas with its generosity, friendship, and love.

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CRYP Launches Dress Drive for 2016 Passion for Fashion

Although it’s hard to imagine in the depths of winter, spring is around the corner. And that means teenagers across the country are already thinking of that one special occasion that has become an American rite of passage. The prom.

Yet on South Dakota’s remote, 2.8-million-acre Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation, excitement for prom season can be tempered by hard realities. Here, most families cannot spare the funds for formal wear and accessories, nor can they manage the three- to five-hour round-trip drive for a shopping trip in Pierre or Rapid City. That’s why the Cheyenne River Youth Project® launched Passion for Fashion in 2001.

“We want to ensure that every teenage girl can make her prom dreams come true,” said Julie Garreau, CRYP’s executive director. “But Passion for Fashion means even more than that. This special one-day event is about developing positive self-esteem and self-confidence, bonding with other teens, and sharing a major life experience with the women in your life, from mothers and sisters to aunties and grandmas.”

This year’s Passion for Fashion event will take place on Saturday, March 12 at CRYP’s Cokata Wiconi (“Center of Life”) teen center. And for the eighth year in a row, the daylong event will feature a special theme; past years’ themes have included Old Hollywood Glamour, Juicy Couture, Alice in Wonderland, Fashion Week, The ‘80s: Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, International Women’s Day, and Graffiti & Street Art. This year’s theme: “The Force Awakens.”

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    PLEASE HELP: 300+ “Dear Santa” Letters Remain to be Adopted

PLEASE HELP: 300+ “Dear Santa” Letters Remain to be Adopted

Christmas is a little more than two weeks away, which means the clock is winding down for Cheyenne River Youth Project® staff and volunteers as they prepare to bring Santa Claus to 1,500 children across South Dakota’s remote, 2.8-million-acre reservation. More than 300 “Dear Santa” letters remain to be adopted — but it’s not too late to help.

“All you need to do is contact us for a ‘Dear Santa’ letter, which will contain a child’s wish list for Santa and his or her shoe and clothing sizes,” said Julie Garreau, CRYP’s executive director. “Or, if you would prefer to contribute funds, you can donate through our website at lakotayouth.org. We’ll do the shopping on our end, ensuring that every child who wrote to Santa will have something special underneath the tree this year.

“Donated funds also will help us feed and house the many volunteers from around the world who come to support us during the Christmas Toy Drive,” she continued. “We couldn’t do it without their help, so we are grateful for any financial support we can get.”

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May Partner of the Month: Child Fund International

Child Fund International exists to help deprived, excluded and vulnerable children have the capacity to improve their lives and the opportunity to become young adults, parents and leaders who bring lasting and positive change in their communities. The organization, originally founded in 1938 to support orphaned children in China, promotes societies around the world whose individuals and institutions participate in valuing, protecting and advancing the worth and rights of children.

Over its 75-year history, CFI’s approach has evolved into one of community development — the idea that you can best help children by strengthening their families and community structures. That makes the international not-for-profit organization the perfect partner for the Cheyenne River Youth Project, according to Julie Garreau, CRYP’s executive director.

“We share a similar mission,” Garreau explained. “We, too, are dedicated to providing youth with access to a vibrant and secure future. Here on the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation, that means ensuring that we can give our children from age 4 to age 18 a wide variety of culturally sensitive and enduring programs, projects and facilities right here in Eagle Butte.”

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April Partner of the Month: FriendSwap

Over the years, fundraisers for the Cheyenne River Youth Project® in Eagle Butte, South Dakota, have taken many forms. One such fundraiser stands out.

For 13 years, FriendSwap in Washington, D.C., has played match-maker for hundreds upon hundreds of young professionals — and donated the proceeds to the 26-year-old youth project. This spring, 735 single Washingtonians attended the 13th annual FriendSwap party and raised close to $14,000 to support CRYP’s youth programming and services (pictured here: Spanish class at The Main, CRYP’s youth center for 4- to 12-year-olds).

FriendSwap was founded by attorney and Cheyenne River Sioux tribal member Heather Dawn Thompson in 2002. Today, it’s led by national best-selling author Kerry Reichs.

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March Partner of the Month: The Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe

This month, we would like to shine the spotlight on the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe here in north-central South Dakota. Over the years, our tribe has supported us in a variety of ways, each of which has been critical as we pursue our mission in the Cheyenne River community.

Not only is the Cheyenne River Youth Project included in the tribe’s general operating budget each year, CRST has provided valuable additional funding through the Tribal Equitable Compensation Act (TECA) in recent years.

CRST’s Tribal Health Department also provides much-needed support for our youth programming and ongoing staff development, primarily through Four Bands Healing Center. And, its Alcohol and Beverage Commission (ABC) provides assistance with food and beverages for special youth and community events.

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February Partner of the Month: The Larson Family Foundation

The Larson Family Foundation in Brookings, South Dakota, is a grant-making foundation created by the Larson family to share its good fortune with the people of South Dakota. The foundation’s focus is to help people in need achieve a better quality of life. The main emphasis of grants to be awarded: to fulfill basic human needs such as food, clothing, shelter, and education.

The foundation is a longtime CRYP partner. Their relationship dates to the late 1990s; it assisted the youth project with its first capital campaign to build The Main youth center (1999) as well as the Cokata Wiconi teen center (2006). For 2015, the foundation has given CRYP a $20,000 grant with specific objectives that include: deliver/expand current youth programming to more than 800 young people at The Main and Cokata Wiconi, and provide ongoing Family Services to more than 400 Cheyenne River families.

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