The Cheyenne River Youth Project has announced that it will host its 7th annual Harvest Festival at its Eagle Butte campus on Friday, Oct. 25. Scheduled for 6-8 p.m., this special seasonal event will include Halloween-themed activities for youth, a 6:45 p.m. hayride, and a homemade community meal. Held in conjunction with the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe’s Indian Child Welfare program, the Harvest Festival will be open free to the public.
The highlight of the evening will be the dinner buffet at Cokata Wiconi (Center of Life), as menu items will incorporate fresh, organically grown, local produce from CRYP’s Winyan Toka Win (Leading Lady) Garden. The menu includes pot roast and turkey, mixed salad with vinaigrette, butternut squash apple bisque, corn on the cob, roasted and sautéed squash, sweet potato bake, cheesy yellow squash casserole, and dinner rolls.
Guests will enjoy chokecherry lemonade, iced tea and water with their meals. CRYP also will serve a variety of pies for dessert.
“We look forward to this harvest celebration every year,” said Julie Garreau, CRYP’s executive director. “It’s an opportunity to share the bountiful harvest from our garden with our community, and bring families, friends and neighbors together for an evening of delicious food and fellowship.”
The Winyan Toka Win Garden lies at the heart of CRYP’s Native Food Sovereignty initiatives. Not only does it provide fresh produce for meals and gifts, it also serves as an outdoor classroom for The Main’s Garden Club, the Native Food Sovereignty Teen Internship, and community classes and workshops. And, as Garreau observed, sustainable agriculture is just part of the overall picture.
“We work hard to incorporate traditional Lakota values, spiritual principles and life ways into our Native Food Sovereignty programs and events,” she explained. “We’re dedicated to strengthening the connection our children and families have with their Lakota culture; that lies at the heart of everything we do.
“Food sovereignty is essential to building healthy, strong, self-sufficient individuals and communities,” she continued. “We’re mindful that every step we take here will potentially have a lasting, meaningful impact on the future of the Lakota Nation.”
To stay up to date on the latest CRYP news and events, follow the youth project on Facebook (/LakotaYouth), Twitter (@LakotaYouth) and Instagram (@lakotayouth and @waniyetuwowapi).
The Cheyenne River Youth Project, founded in 1988, is a grassroots, not-for-profit organization dedicated to providing the youth of the Cheyenne River reservation with access to a vibrant and secure future through a wide variety of culturally sensitive and enduring programs, projects and facilities that ensure strong, self-sufficient families and communities.