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In This Issue
Keya Gift Shop Online: NOVEMBER SPECIAL!
Volunteer with CRYP
CRYP's Sponsor Enrichment Activities
Sponsor a Birthday Cake at The Main
Meet Our Board of Directors
Support CRYP with Amazon Smile, GoodSearch & GoodShop, and Capital One
Check Out Our Needs List
Our Mission
300 Letters Still Need Adoption in Xmas Toy Drive
Enter to Win an Authentic Lakota Star Quilt
600+ Teens Have Graduated from Internship Program
45 Teens Completed Lakota Culture Camps This Fall
CRYP Hosts Annual Xmas Parties for Children & Teens
Hall of Fame: Charly Etzkorn
Quick Links
Select items from CRYP's Keya (Turtle) Gift Shop are now available online, and proceeds benefit the nonprofit organization's youth programming and family services.


During the month of November, we've taken more than 30% off our green, long-sleeved CRYP T-shirts! Sizes S, M, XL, XXL and XXXL are available (unfortunately, we don't have L in stock). Simply click the link below, and look for the "sale" icon.

By supporting the Keya Gift Shop, you're also supporting  local artists and craftspeople; our youth artists, who are learning how their creative passions might translate to possible career opportunities; and our teen interns, who work in our gift shop every day, developing valuable skills in customer service, financial literacy and business management.


CRYP is actively seeking volunteers to work at our Eagle Butte campus. 


If you are interested in applying for our volunteer program, please click here to learn more!



Sponsor Enrichment Activities for CRYP Youth


The Main youth center and Cokata Wiconi teen center are looking for sponsors to support art and athletic enrichment activities for our after-school and summer programs. 


We are actively looking for people willing to make monetary or in-kind donations to fulfill these needs. You can donate online by clicking the link below or by mailing donations to the Cheyenne River Youth Project, P.O. Box 410, Eagle Butte, SD 57625.  


If you'd like to see a Needs List for our enrichment programs, please contact us at (605) 964-8200 or send us an email at



Sponsor a Birthday Cake at The Main!
Main Birthday Party 1
Few days in a child's life are as precious as his or her birthday. Unfortunately, for far too many underprivileged children, that day passes with little celebration - if any at all. CRYP wants to make sure that the young children who attend The Main youth center have the birthday festivities they deserve.

Each month, The Main hosts a birthday party for the children whose birthdays fall during that month. To offset the cost of each party, CRYP seeks monthly sponsors to contribute $40 for the birthday cake. Please consider sponsoring a birthday cake this year! Every dollar makes such a difference in the lives of Cheyenne River's children.

Meet Our
Board of Directors
Jeremy Patterson

Karla Abbott

Jeffrey Meyer

Kibbe Conti
Peggy Gallipo
Lonnie Heier

For more info and bios, click here!

Support CRYP When You Shop Online!
What if CRYP earned a donation every time you searched the Internet or made an online purchase?

Amazon will donate 0.5% of your purchase price to CRYP when you shop at To make shopping even easier, you can add the AmazonSmile 1 Button to your web browser.

Then there are GoodSearch and GoodShop. is a Yahoo-powered search engine that donates half its advertising revenue, about a penny per search, to the charities its users designate. Use it just as you would any search engine, get quality search results from Yahoo, and watch the donations add up. is an online shopping mall that donates up to 30% of each purchase to your favorite cause. Hundreds of great stores have teamed up with GoodShop so that every time you place an order, you'll be supporting your favorite cause.

And, if you download the
"GoodSearch - Cheyenne River Youth Project - CRYP toolbar," our cause will earn money every time you shop and search online EVEN if you forget to go to the GoodShop or GoodSearch sites first! Click here to add the toolbar.

While you're online, you even can make a secure donation with your Capital One credit card. Simply click here. You even can add an easy-to-use widget for future contributions.

Needs List
Three girls

CRYP relies on in-kind donations as well as funding to continue our mission. If you'd like to help, please check out our Needs List. You also may contact us at (605) 964-8200 if you'd like a copy of our most up-to-date list and price quotes for particular needs. Thank you for your support!
Our Mission

Spanish Class at The Main
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.
Join Our Mailing List
December 2018 News
CRYP Christmas Toy Drive 2016
Another one of our favorite videos from Christmases past... see what our Christmas Toy Drive is all about!

300 "Dear Santa" Letters Still Need You: Please Help Us Bring Santa to Town!

Christmas is almost here... we have just a week to go, and we still need you to help us bring Santa Claus to more than 1,500 deserving children here on Cheyenne River. 

We have approximately 300 "Dear Santa" letters that still need to be adopted. To adopt a letter, simply call us at (605) 964-8200 or send an e-mail to

Christmas Toy Drive 2011

Because our Christmas Toy Drive is so personal, each letter contains a child's own precious Christmas wishes, along with sizing for much-needed winter clothing, boots and shoes. That makes this holiday-giving experience truly unique, and it deeply affects everyone it touches.

Adopting a letter is not the only way to help,  however! Click below to learn more, and to make an online contribution. 

We're deeply grateful for your friendship and support; every contribution, regardless of size, makes a real difference during the holiday season. Wopila.

"Lakota Summer," an authentic Lakota star quilt hand-made by Cheyenne River Sioux tribal member Bonnie LeBeaux.

There's Still Time: Enter to Win, and Support Our Xmas Toy Drive 

With one week to go until Christmas, you still have a little time left to get involved in this year's Star Quilt Raffle! All proceeds benefit our annual Christmas Toy Drive, which brings Santa Claus to more than 1,500 children here on South Dakota's Cheyenne River reservation. 

Learn more here

More than 600 Teens Have Graduated from CRYP's Internship Program!

When CRYP launched its teen internships at Cokata Wiconi (Center of Life) in 2013, 10 teenagers graduated from the program. Just five years later, that number has reached the impressive 600 mark.

Six art interns and two indigenous cooking interns are preparing to graduate prior to the Christmas holiday. Three teens will complete their social enterprise internships by Dec. 23, and that will bring the total number of graduates to 610.

"When it comes to programming, we've always listened to our kids," says Julie Garreau, CRYP's executive director. "They tell us what they want, and we let them lead the way. They wanted this, and it clearly resonates with them. Interest just continues to grow, year after year.

"Teens who are given opportunities like this are more likely to envision a future in which they can thrive," she continues. "They develop specific education and career goals, and they learn to diligently work toward those goals. They also are more likely to make positive choices, and become their community's next generation of leaders and culture bearers."

45 Teens Completed Five Lakota Culture Camps at CRYP This Fall

This October and November, CRYP hosted five 15-hour Lakota Culture Camps through its Waniyetu Wowapi (Winter Count) Lakota Youth Arts & Culture Institute. Forty-five 13- to 18-year-olds completed the camps, which were made possible through grants from NEA ArtWorks, ArtPlace America, South Dakota Arts Council and TECA.

The camps gave Cheyenne River teens the opportunity to learn a variety of traditional Lakota arts, with accomplished native artists serving as guest instructors. The young people made star quilt pillows with Bonnie LeBeau, hand drum sicks with Austin Red Dog, storytelling paintings with Alexis Estes, moccasins with Jozee Campos, and ribbon skirts with Jolee Clark.

In addition to exploring this vibrant assortment of Lakota arts, the teens also received stipends for completing all 15 hours of their chosen camps.

"As we often remind our children, there is no word for art in Lakota," says Jerica Widow, youth programs director. "Art is life. So, by engaging in the arts, they're strengthening their connections to Lakota culture. They're celebrating who they are by telling their stories, expressing themselves creatively, and developing their own artistic identity and voice. It's exciting to witness, and we're so proud of them."

Children played "Pin the Heart on the Grinch" at The Main's Christmas party on Dec. 6.

CRYP Hosts Annual Christmas Parties for Children & Teens on Dec. 6-7.

December means two things for CRYP. For one, the annual Christmas Toy Drive is moving into the home stretch.  It also means Cheyenne River's children and teens get to enjoy some eagerly anticipated holiday revelry in what has become an annual CRYP tradition .

On Thursday, Dec. 6, CRYP hosted a Christmas party for 4- to 12-year-olds at "The Main" youth center. During the evening's festivities, staff also held a special awards and completion ceremony for The Main's Fall Book Club. 

The 13- to 18-year-olds had their fun the next night. The teen Christmas party took place on Friday, Dec. 7 at Cokata Wiconi (Center of Life), complete with refreshments, prizes, gingerbread houses ready for decorating, and more.

In the wake of the youth holiday parties, CRYP has closed both centers until January so staff and volunteers can focus on the Christmas Toy Drive. 

Manny and Claudia Iron Hawk.

CRYP Hosts LOWI Information Session at The Main Youth Center

On Dec. 1, CRYP hosted an open house and information session for Lakȟótiyapi Okáȟtaŋ Wičhóičhaǧe Inc. (LOWI), the new Eagle Butte-based Lakota immersion school set to open in January. The special event took place at The Main, the youth center dedicated to 4- to 12-year-olds on CRYP's Eagle Butte campus.

LOWI will welcome its first class of 20 kindergarten students this January. The school will offer all instruction in Lakota, incorporating subjects like math and science as well as Lakota traditions and culture; its goal is to develop second-language fluency. The Main at CRYP will be the interim site of the first class, while construction continues on the permanent school site. 
When asked for his thoughts on the opening of LOWI, Principal Manny Iron Hawk simply says, "Woihánble wan wanna iyečetu - The dream has come true."

December Hall of Fame:
Charly Etzkorn 

At CRYP, we love welcoming new children to The Main youth center. Not only is it a joy getting to know each and every one of them, it's so much fun to see what interests they explore, and what gets them excited.

Charly Etzkorn, 11, first came to The Main this past spring. Her parents told her about it, and she wanted to check it out.

"I came to learn new things and have fun," says the sixth-grader, who did exactly that.

Thank you so much for your interest in our youth project, and for your ongoing support as we pursue our mission in the community.

To learn more about CRYP and its programs, call (605) 964-8200 or visit And, to stay up to date on the latest CRYP news and events, follow the youth project on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

All of us at the
Cheyenne River Youth Project