Last weekend, on Aug. 28-30, the Cheyenne River Youth Project invited three of its Minneapolis-based RedCan artists to visit the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation for a special reason. Over three days, Biafra, Wundr and Ryoe created a vibrant “CRST Lives Matter” mural on a container adjacent to the Veterans Center on Highway 212.

CRYP Executive Director Julie Garreau said the project was a labor of love for the nonprofit youth organization, and for the three artists, who quarantined for two weeks prior to making the trip and remained distanced from all local residents during their time on the reservation.

“Biafra, Wundr, and Ryoe are an important part of the CRYP family,” Garreau explained. “As annual participants in our award-winning RedCan graffiti jam, they’ve come to know and love our community, and they understand the importance of tribal sovereignty and keeping our people as safe as possible during the pandemic. 

“They stand alongside us in support of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe,” she continued. “They have created a powerful visual reminder that all the efforts CRST is putting forth — from the health checkpoints to the public health guidelines around masks and social distancing — are for the sake of all our people. Our lives matter. We matter.”

Garreau also expressed gratitude on behalf of the entire CRYP team to CRST, Eagle Storage, and the Veterans Center.

“We’re so thankful for their support and willingness to collaborate on this project,” she said. “In times of crisis, we have to join together to weather the storm — and, more importantly, to rise up. The rest of the world needs to hear our voices.”

To learn more about the Cheyenne River Youth Project and its programs, and for information about making donations and volunteering, call (605) 964-8200 or visit lakotayouth.org. And, 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.

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