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.
Four Bands Healing Center and CRST ABC have both been key partners in our annual Passion for Fashion program, our annual Run of the Turtles community fun run (see photo), our Spring Family Festivals, and our regular basketball tournaments and other youth sporting events at the Cokata Wiconi (“Center of Life”) teen center.
“Our youth project at the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe share a dedication to the youth of this community, and words cannot express the depth of our gratitude for the tribe’s steadfast support over the years,” said Julie Garreau, CRYP’s executive director. “We simply couldn’t do what we need to do without its help.”
That help also can take the form of generous in-kind donations. For example, the CRST Property & Supply Department and the Bureau of Indian Affairs recently assisted CRYP with moving several large shipping containers from the parking-lot area of its campus into the new Waniyetu Wowapi Art Park, where community members, visitors and CRYP’s first-ever teen art interns can take advantage of these impressive 40-foot-long “canvases.” CRST also has helped out with facilities and landscape maintenance, and with snow removal during the winter months.
“This is an abiding, lifelong relationship between our grassroots, not-for-profit youth organization and the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe,” Garreau said. “Together, we’re working hard to provide our young people with culturally sensitive, enduring programs and facilities so they have access to the vibrant, secure future they so richly deserve.”