Julie Garreau, Executive Director

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); the Spirit of Dakota Award (2009); and the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development’s prestigious Tim Wapato Public Advocate of the Year Award (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). She was part of the Gratitude Network’s 2021 Gratitude Fellowship cohort, and this year, she is a 2022 Vital Village Fellow.

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 completed 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. In 2022, she received Americans for the Arts’ Selina Roberts Ottum Award for Arts Leadership.

Watch this interview with Julie on the Nan McKay Connects podcast that features extraordinary women making an impact.

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. 

Advisory Board

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.

Honors & Awards

Through the years, CRYP’s efforts have been recognized by a variety of regional and national organizations. Learn more about Our Honors and Awards.


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.