Established in 1988 in Eagle Butte, South Dakota, the nonprofit Cheyenne River Youth Project is an essential community development organization on the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation. We are from Cheyenne River for Cheyenne River — an authentic grassroots initiative designed to meet the specific needs of our community through innovative youth programming, vital family services, and educational public events and activities.
For decades, our reservation’s young people have come to rely on CRYP to always be here for them, to lift them up, and to empower them. We serve hundreds of local youth ages 4 to 18 each year, manage 369 family memberships across the reservation, and consistently provide culturally relevant and enduring solutions that address unique community concerns and challenges.
CRYP is a well-rounded service organization that is dedicated to its participants’ physical, emotional, mental and spiritual wellness. Its current 5-acre campus on East Lincoln Street incorporates the Main Youth Center for 4- to 12-year-olds; the Ċokata Wiċoni (“Center of Life”) Teen Center for 13- to 18-year olds, which also is home to the Keya (Turtle) Cafe, Keya Gift Shop, and Waniyetu Wowapi (Winter Count) Lakota Arts Institute; the Family Services Program; the naturally grown Winyan Toka Win (“Leading Lady”) Garden and seasonal Leading Lady Farmers Market; and the free, public Waniyetu Wowapi Art Park. These facilities create a collaborative synergy and represent CRYP’s holistic approach toward assessing and meeting community needs.
Poverty has a profound effect on family structure and self-esteem, which contributes to a variety of social ills. Located in one of the nation’s five poorest counties, CRYP serves the community by offering safe and healthy spaces, fostering healthy choices and life practices, strengthening connections to Lakota culture, teaching valuable job and life skills, and creating opportunities for a more vibrant and secure future.
Daily, CRYP lays the groundwork for long-term solutions. Each program is carefully designed with a purposeful foundation, cultural relevance, and potential for longevity. Our vision also includes critical infrastructure to accommodate our growth as we work to meet our community’s needs today and in the future.
CRYP has been recognized for its achievements locally, regionally and nationally, indicating that participants and supporters agree on its efficacy and importance. Executive director Julie Garreau has received several awards for her work with CRYP, including the South Dakota Volunteer of the Year Award in 1992, the Presidential Points of Light Award in 1993, the Garden Supply Company’s Garden Crusader Award in 2005, and the Spirit of Dakota Award in 2009. The South Dakota Coalition for Children named CRYP its “Champion for Children” in 2002, and the youth project’s RedCan invitational graffiti jam received Americans for the Arts’ prestigious Robert E. Gard Award in 2017.
CRYP is honored by, and grateful for, the opportunity to serve youth on Cheyenne River. Please explore our About section to learn more.
Explore About Section
Mission & History
In 1988, Julie Garreau and a group of volunteers founded CRYP in a defunct bar on Eagle Butte’s Main Street. We’ve come a long way since then. Learn more about our Mission and History.
CRYP wouldn’t be where it is today without our resourceful, hard-working staff members, who routinely go well beyond the call of duty to serve our children, families and community. Learn more about our Staff.
Board of Directors
We are fortunate to have the support of a dedicated group of local and regional community leaders, who consistently offer their guidance as CRYP continues to grow and evolve. Learn more about our Board of Directors.
As we pursue our ongoing mission in the Cheyenne River community, and engage with partners across the country, CRYP also calls on a team of valued professionals for advice and expertise. Learn more about CRYP’s Advisory Board.
A core component of our mission is to offer safe, positive, healthy spaces for our young people, families and community members to gather, exchange ideas, learn, socialize and thrive. Learn more about our Facilities.
We strive to keep our partners, supporters and friends up to date on all the latest happenings here at CRYP. Click here to see our Publications.
CRYP is dedicated to full transparency. Click here for our latest Financial statements and 990.