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wellness

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    CRYP Will Welcome Loretta Barrett Oden to Eagle Butte on Aug. 11-12

CRYP Will Welcome Loretta Barrett Oden to Eagle Butte on Aug. 11-12

The Cheyenne River Youth Project® has announced that it will welcome native chef, food historian and lecturer Loretta Barrett Oden to its Eagle Butte campus on Thursday and Friday, August 11-12. Oden is spending two days at CRYP courtesy of the nonprofit, grassroots youth project’s “Learning to Eat Like Our Ancestors” initiative.

Oden, a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, will conduct a cooking demo and workshop on Thursday, and a business entrepreneurship workshop on Friday. Both are open to CRYP’s teen interns and interested members of the Cheyenne River community.

CRYP also will be screening a very special episode of “Seasoned with Spirit: A Native Cook’s Journey,” the five-part, Emmy Award-winning TV series Oden hosts on PBS. This program celebrates native history and culture with delicious, healthy recipes inspired by indigenous foods; in episode 3, Oden traveled to the Cheyenne River Lakota reservation to learn about buffalo and preparing the lean, healthy meat.

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The Sioux Chef is Coming on June 10!

The Cheyenne River Youth Project® has announced that it will welcome “The Sioux Chef” Sean Sherman to its Eagle Butte campus on Friday, June 10. The chef is spending the day at CRYP courtesy of the nonprofit, grassroots youth project’s “Learning to Eat Like Our Ancestors” initiative.

In the morning, Sherman will lead an entrepreneurism workshop, which will be open to CRYP’s teen interns as well as to members of the local community. In the afternoon, he will host a cooking class for up to 20 people with sampling for attendees. Once again, the offering will be available to teen interns and community members.

In the entrepreneurism workshop, Sherman will discuss how to start a restaurant or catering company. Topics include developing a business plan, menu testing, hiring essential help, creating a marketing plan, generating startup capital, writing employee materials, keeping an eye on labor and food costs, and how to address the inevitable bumps in the road.

In the cooking class, the chef will talk about applying traditional Native American techniques and knowledge, and participants will gain hands-on experience with traditional foods—including bison—and practice recipes. Topics for discussion include Sherman’s ethnobotanical and anthropological research and how to use traditional techniques in modern cooking.

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    CRYP is Accepting Applications for Summer Teen Internships Through May 27

CRYP is Accepting Applications for Summer Teen Internships Through May 27

The Cheyenne River Youth Project® has announced that it will be accepting applications for its summer teen internship programs through Friday, May 27. Internship opportunities include wellness, social enterprise and sustainable agriculture; CRYP is offering three 80-hour internships during the summer season, with each session running approximately two to three weeks.

During their internships, participating teens will participate in classes and trainings, they’ll be involved in event planning and youth mentorship, and they’ll gain valuable job and life skills that will serve them well beyond high school. Those who complete their 80 hours each will earn a stipend of $500.

These aren’t simply summer jobs, however. According to Julie Garreau, CRYP’s executive director, CRYP’s internship programs are carefully designed for Lakota youth.

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CRYP Welcomes April Cohort of Teen Wellness Interns

On Wednesday, April 6, the Cheyenne River Youth Project® welcomed its spring cohort of teen wellness interns, who will spend the month focusing on how to nurture healthy minds and bodies. These teen internships are a critical component of CRYP’s ongoing holistic wellness initiatives, which incorporate physical fitness, nutrition, diabetes prevention, healthy lifestyle choices and, perhaps most importantly, Lakota values and traditions.

“Our Lakota culture is a critical piece of our wholeness,” said Julie Garreau, CRYP’s executive director. “Strengthening the connection our kids have to their traditional values and native wisdom builds an enduring foundation for lasting holistic wellness, for themselves and for our community.”

This April wellness interns are: Jacine Carter, 18; Ladonna Chasing Hawk, 14; Derreck Eagle, 16; Alexis Fiddler, 13; Randi Little Star, 14; Lucia Lone Eagle, 14; Marckis Red Dog, 13; Dessa Scares the Hawk, 13; and Jaymalee Turning Heart, 15. Through their four-week internships, the nine teens will participate in classes, special trainings, youth mentorship and planning special events. The internships will last until the end of the month, and those teens who have completed 60 hours by April 30 will earn stipends of $500.

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    CRYP Hosts “Cooking with Commodities,” Prepares to Launch Spring Bike Club

CRYP Hosts “Cooking with Commodities,” Prepares to Launch Spring Bike Club

In keeping with its ongoing commitment to holistic youth wellness, the Cheyenne River Youth Project® is developing engaging new programming that it hopes will inspire young people on the remote Cheyenne River Lakota reservation to live healthier, more vibrant lives. Teens recently took part in an ambitious “Cooking with Commodities” class at the Cokata Wiconi (Center of Life) teen center, and preparations are under way for the Spring Bike Club at The Main youth center.

“Our children aren’t going to be able to make better choices when it comes to their nutrition and physical activity if we don’t show them how,” said Tammy Eagle Hunter, CRYP’s executive director. “We need to demonstrate how to make those choices, and how to incorporate good decision-making into daily life.”

Through “Cooking with Commodities,” teen chefs learned how to create a healthy meal with the commodity foods Cheyenne River families typically receive. The class took place on Wednesday, March 23, in CRYP’s Keya (Turtle) Cafe.

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Spring “Book2Movie” Club Starts April 5

On Tuesday, April 5, the Cheyenne River Youth Project® will kick off its seven-week Spring Book2Movie Club at the Cokata Wiconi (“Center of Life”) teen center and The Main youth center. Club members will meet in the Cokata Wiconi and Main libraries every Tuesday and Thursday in April, May and June.

Participants ages 13-18 will read three novels from a selection of banned books that were made into movies, while children ages 4-12 will read two popular children’s books that also became films (staff members will help the youngest children). Each book will conclude with a special finale celebration.

On deck for the teens: Sherman Alexie’s “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian,” Stephen Chbosky’s “The Perks of Being a Wallflower,” Alice Walker’s “The Color Purple,” and Roald Dahl’s “The BFG.” At The Main, younger children will enjoy Roald Dahl’s “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” and Rudyard Kipling’s “The Jungle Book” as staff members read the books aloud.

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February is “Heart Health Month” at CRYP

February is “Heart Health Month” at the Cheyenne River Youth Project®, and the 27-year-old, not-for-profit youth organization’s staff has been hard at work organizing youth programming that has a special focus on diabetes prevention. It’s a cause close to staff members’ hearts, as the numbers are truly frightening; diabetes has reached epidemic proportions.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Indian Health Service, American Indians and Alaska Natives are 2.2 times more likely to have diabetes than non-Hispanic whites. Thirty percent of the indigenous population in this country has pre-diabetes, and of those who already have it, 95 percent have type 2 diabetes. What’s even more frightening: There was a 68 percent increase in diabetes from 1994 to 2004 among native youth ages 15 to 19. Half of Cheyenne River’s population is under 18, and 30 to 40 percent of those young people have or are at risk for developing diabetes.

“This is a huge issue for us,” said Julie Garreau, CRYP’s executive director. “The children born here since 2000 have a life expectancy that’s shorter than their parents’ or grandparents.’ Many of these kids already have health issues, some as young as 8 to 10 years old.”

While this is a health disaster for native communities, most of the risk factors are socio-cultural and environmental. That means diabetes is preventable.

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February Hall of Fame: Elijah Brown Wolf

In recent years, the Cheyenne River Youth Project® has devoted significant resources to its wellness programming. We believe the best way to serve our children and provide for a positive, healthy future is to address their holistic well-being — from nutrition and fitness, to community service, to connecting with the land and Lakota traditions.

These efforts have resonated with Cheyenne River’s young people, particularly with our teens. One of them is Elijah Brown Wolf, 17, who started participating in CRYP programming as a small child at The Main youth center for 4- to 12-year-olds, and he began attending the Cokata Wiconi (Center of Life) teen center in spring 2011. His involvement at Cokata Wiconi has inspired CRYP staff members on multiple levels.

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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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    Fall Harvest Kicks Into High Gear with “Veggie of the Week” and Community Harvest Festival Dinner

Fall Harvest Kicks Into High Gear with “Veggie of the Week” and Community Harvest Festival Dinner

Fall has arrived on the Cheyenne River reservation in north-central South Dakota, which means CRYP staff and volunteers have been hard at work… harvesting, harvesting, harvesting. And that has kicked the “Veggie of the Week” program into high gear, according to Ryan Devlin, CRYP’s sustainable agriculture manager.

“For the last two weeks, the focus of our garden harvest has been tomatoes,” he reported. “We’ve harvested more than 500 pounds of beefsteak, roma, and cherry tomatoes for sale in our weekly Leading Lady Farmers Market and for processing in our commercial kitchen. Hundreds of fresh garden tomatoes have been sold through the farmers market, and salsa production is in full swing.”

This week, the staff’s focus has been on today’s 2nd annual Community Harvest Festival Dinner. Winter squash, pumpkins, and Brussels sprouts will be the highlights of this eagerly anticipated community event, which celebrates the garden and this year’s growing season. The dinner is open free to the public, and staff will share special recipes for Squish Squash Lasagna, roasted Brussels sprouts and carrots, Harvest Delight, and more.

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