An enrolled member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, Julie Garreau has been the executive director of the Cheyenne River Youth Project since its 1988 inception. She has seen the project through its exhilarating development from a tiny, one-room youth center in a former Main Street bar to a comprehensive youth and family services organization that includes “The Main” youth center for children ages 4-12, the Ċokata Wiċoni (Center of Life) teen center for youth ages 13-18, the Waniyetu Wowapi (Winter Count) Lakota Youth Arts & Culture Institute, the Winyan Toka Win (Leading Lady) Garden, and three social enterprises—the Keya (Turtle) Cafe & Coffee Shop, the Keya Gift Shop & E-Store, and the Leading Lady Farm Stand.
Julie is a dedicated youth advocate, and she hopes that CRYP will become a model for other communities to follow as they develop effective, sustainable, culturally relevant youth programming. She has received the South Dakota Volunteer of the Year Award (1992), the Presidential Points of Light Award (1993), the Lakota Nation Invitational Tournament Public Service Award (1993); the Father Hogebach Service to Native American Children Award, presented by St Joseph’s Indian School (1995); the North American Indian Women’s Association Fellowship “Among All Peoples” Award (1999); the Garden Supply Company’s First Place “Garden Crusader” Award (2005); and the Spirit of Dakota Award (2009). She recently accepted the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development’s prestigious Tim Wapato Public Advocate of the Year Award for 2019.
In 2002, the South Dakota Coalition for Children named CRYP a “Champion for Children,” and Julie was named to an honor roll that recognized its 16 members’ outstanding dedication to South Dakota’s children. In addition to serving as a Suicide Crisis Referral Hotline Counselor from 1994 to 2000, she testified before the U.S. Senate Indian Affairs Committee Hearing on Youth Suicide Prevention in 2005. Her name appears on the Honor Wall at the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington D.C.
Julie served on the Fairy Godmother’s Fund Council from 2008 to 2010; that year, she also ran as the District 28 candidate for the South Dakota State Senate. In 2011, Julie completed Hopa Mountain’s Native American Nonprofit Leadership Program. She then went on to complete a series of fellowships: Bush Foundation Native Nations Rebuilders Fellow (2012), Cordes Fellow (2015), and Bush Fellow (2016-18). This year, she joined the Gratitude Network’s 2021 Gratitude Fellowship cohort.
That’s not all. Julie served on the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Advisory Council in 2007, and Gov. Dennis Daugaard appointed her to the South Dakota Commission for National and Community Service in 2011. She also has been a member of the South Dakota Attorney General’s Indian Advisory Council.
In 2014, she became a founding member of the Native American Food Systems Alliance; she is completing her term as NAFSA president in 2021. She established the farm-to-table Keya Cafe & Coffeeshop, the Keya Gift Shop & E-Store, and the seasonal Leading Lady Farmer Stand at the CRYP campus, and she continues to spearhead sustainable agriculture initiatives for children, teens and the Cheyenne River community.
In the last six years, Julie and her staff launched the innovative, groundbreaking Waniyetu Wowapi (Winter Count) Lakota Arts Institute, Waniyetu Wowapi Art Park and RedCan Graffiti Jam (recipient of Americans for the Arts’ 2017 Robert E. Gard Award) at the CRYP campus. In 2019, RedCan was one of 50 projects honored through Americans for the Arts’ PAN Year in Review program; that same year, Julie received the Americans for the Arts’ Arts Education Award, and she joined Arts South Dakota’s Board of Directors.
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dawn E. LeBeau
Dawn E. “Dawnee” LeBeau is Itazipacola Oo’henunpa of the Tetonwan Lakota Oyate. She currently resides on the Cheyenne River Lakota Reservation in South Dakota with her two beautiful wakanyeja, Ashten and Anjali.
Dawnee loves visual storytelling, gardening, and indigenous plants; and her work supports the amplification of indigenous Lakota wellness, Lakota language, and cultural values.
Dawnee holds a Bachelors of Arts degree in social science. She has served as a fellow with the First Peoples Fund for the Artist in Business Leadership and Cultural Capital Fellowships; she is a 2019-2020 cohort member with the South Dakota Change Network; and she is a 2020 cohort member with the Creative Community Leadership Institute. Dawnee also is a mentee with the Seed Seva Mentorship and the Native Food and Culinary Mentorship.
A member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, Jerica was born and raised on the reservation. Upon her 2007 graduation from Takini High School, she began taking courses in Early Childhood Education at Oglala Lakota College. She began working with the youth in 2009, through Department of Social Services and Child Protection Service centers within the community. Through the daily challenges in her role there, she enjoyed helping the youth the reservation. Jerica began working as a Youth Programs Assistant at the Cheyenne River Youth Project in 2014; she quickly was promoted to Youth Programs Coordinator, and in 2018, she became CRYP’s Youth Programs Director. Because she has many younger siblings and relatives, she feels that she has a good understanding of the needs and interest of youth. Jerica hopes to bring her passion and experience to her role at CRYP, serving as a positive role model for children and teens.
Michelle C. Fredericks DuBray makes her home on a buffalo ranch along the Missouri River on the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation. An enrolled member of the Mandan Hidatsa Arikara Nation of North Dakota, Michelle works with nonprofits and in community development through her business, Pinto Horse Woman Consulting. She has worked as a consultant with the Cheyenne River Youth Project in various capacities for the past 10 years.
Born in Fort Yates, North Dakota, on the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, Michelle was raised in Boulder, Colorado. After attending Boston University, she transferred to the University of Colorado at Boulder, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in international relations. Michelle attended law school at the UCLA for 1.5 years before pursuing nonprofit work in Colorado. Then, in 1993, Michelle returned to the Dakotas, where she helped establish the InterTribal Bison Cooperative, serving first as administrative director and then as development director. In 1994, Michelle was recognized as a Kellogg Fellow for her participation in the Americans for Indian Opportunity Ambassadors Program.
Michelle has more than 34 years of experience working in nonprofit management and development, working with Native nonprofit organizations as they build Native communities, develop partnerships, forge collaborative efforts, and encourage sustainability of rural communities. She has worked locally for Native American Advocacy Program and the South Dakota Indian Business Alliance, regionally for Rural Dynamics' Northern Plains Initiative, and nationally for the InterTribal Bison Cooperative, Native American Fish & Wildlife Society, California Indian Legal Services, and Native American Rights Fund.
Michelle was selected for the first cohort of the Bush Foundation’s Native Nations Rebuilders Program in 2010, and she served on the Native Youth Leadership Alliance Board of Directors as secretary in 2009-2016. Previously, she served on the Cheyenne River Youth Project Board of Directors in 2009, and the Leadership Council of SDIBA in 2009-2013; and in 2011, she was appointed to the Commission of National and Community Service for the State of South Dakota by Gov. Daugaard.
As finance manager, Crystal is responsible for managing all of CRYP’s grants and tracking the organization’s spending. Her professional career has given her a critical skill set, including accounting, bookkeeping and payroll, and she brings tremendous value to the CRYP team.
Crystal holds an associate’s degree in accounting from Western Dakota Technical Institute, and she’s currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in human resources from DeVry University. She will complete this degree program in March 2018.
As CRYP’s public relations manager, Heather writes all of the organization’s press releases, produces its monthly e-newsletter, handles media relations, contributes to the website, and assists with fundraising, outreach and other development activities. She volunteered at the Main in the summer and fall of 2006 and became a staff member in 2007.
A graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism, Heather has nearly 20 years’ experience in communications. In the last two decades, she has worked as a staff editor for two national magazines and as a public-relations specialist for two nationally recognized advertising agencies, served as the public affairs manager for a not-for-profit contemporary arts center, and volunteered on the marketing committees for a maritime museum and humane society.
Heather has operated her own full-time freelance writing business since 2004. She continues to serve as a contributing editor for three national magazines, and her articles regularly appear in a variety of regional and national publications. An award-winning writer, she is the recipient of the Denver Woman’s Press Club’s annual “Minnie” grand prize. Heather makes frequent trips to Eagle Butte from her home in Bailey, Colorado.
Jody Sarkozy-Banoczy is an independent grant-writing consultant based in the Washington D.C. area. Her expertise lies in the arts and in native community development. She has 15 years of experience and success writing grants to many foundations and federal agencies, including the CDFI Fund, Administration for Native Americans, USDA, HUD and others.
Jody is the former director of development for First Nations Oweesta Corporation, and her work supports organizations focused on native artist entrepreneurship, small business development, youth, leadership and affordable housing.
Diana is an enrolled member of the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation, also known as the Three Affiliated Tribes, located on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation in central North Dakota. She was born in Bismarck, North Dakota, and grew up on the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation, where she currently lives with her husband, son, and three stepchildren.
Wendell Nezzie, Jr.
While working with CRYP, Wendell has completed coursework towards a degree in criminal justice from Oglala Lakota College. He is currently in charge of CRYP’s wellness program; he plans and executes all fitness-related activities, including daily workouts and weekly fitness challenges, and he helps coordinate teen programming for the Wellness Internship Program.
An enrolled member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, Khalid Garreau was born and raised on the Cheyenne River reservation until he moved to Rapid City in 2007. Now a student at Georgia State University in Atlanta, where he majors in International Affairs, Khalid has returned to CRYP for a semester.
Khalid is responsible for the implementation of youth programs, from teen internships to special events and activities. He also has a role in the Keya Café and Winyan Toka Win Garden. He says that working at CRYP provides unique challenges that help both him and the Cheyenne River community in creating a better future. He has aspirations of one day running a nonprofit to better his community—following in the footsteps of his Aunt Julie Garreau.
Leo Benator is 20 years old, and he hails from Duluth, Georgia, where he graduated from Duluth High School. Leo is currently attending Georgia State University in Atlanta, where he is pursuing dual majors in history and political science. He says the Cheyenne River reservation is truly beautiful, and he is so glad he gets to be here.
Leo is excited for all the things he will learn from CRYP, which he anticipates will be applicable to other parts of his life, and he hopes to be able to contribute to the betterment of the Cheyenne River community. One day, he hopes to be involved in politics, whether that means running campaigns or running for office himself. He truly wants to make the world a better place, and he feels that he is helping to do that by working at CRYP.
As CRYP’s website and design associate, Mina manages the organization’s website and e-store backend, and assists with other graphic design related needs. She has enjoyed working with CRYP for over 10 years.
Mina holds a BFA in Graphic Design from Old Dominion University and has 18 years of experience with educational, human services and arts related non-profits as well as communications and pr firms. She is an award winner designer and has operated her own freelance design business since 2000. She currently works not only with CRYP but also with number of small businesses and entrepreneurs for their branding and design needs.
She lives in the suburbs of Washington, DC with her husband, teaches yoga and also owns a photography business.
Caitlin Mussak is 20 years old, and comes from Duluth, Georgia, where she graduated from Duluth High School. Caitlin is currently attending Georgia State University in Atlanta, where she is majoring in anthropology. She says she loves the work the Cheyenne River Youth Project does here and is so happy to be able to join the team.
Caitlin is very excited to help with the Garden Club in the spring and to be able to plan special events for the community to enjoy.