The Cheyenne River Youth Project announced today that its new Wíyukačanyan Wówawičhakhiyapi (Creative Writing) internship will officially launch on Monday, Apr. 4. This will be the sixth internship track offered at the nonprofit youth organization, which also offers teen internships in Native Food Sovereignty, Native Wellness, Social Enterprise, Indigenous Foods & Cooking, and Art.

Classes will take place from 4 to 6 p.m. on Mondays, Thursdays, and Fridays until May 20. During the seven-week internship, teens will explore the writing process through reading and practice in various genres of writing, including poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, journaling, academic writing, and journalism.

“The literal translation of Wíyukačanyan Wówawičhakhiyapi is ‘They are enabled to write with thought,’” said Jerica Widow, CRYP’s programs director. “This internship will give our kids opportunities to not only develop their craft in each genre, but also to feel empowered in expressing their own unique voices and perspectives. 

“They’ll become acquainted with accomplished Native writers, and they will be challenged to incorporate elements of Lakota culture — as well as their life experiences on the Cheyenne River reservation — into their own work,” she added.

The internship is open to all skill levels, and those who complete the program will earn a $500 stipend. 

Applications are now available at the CRYP office in the Čhókata Wićhóni (Center of Life) teen center, or at area schools. Interested teens also may contact Widow at or internship instructor Joseph Elia at to receive an application via email. The application deadline is Wednesday, Mar. 30. 

CRYP staff also encourage local educators to contact Widow at (605) 964-8200 or if they wish to make arrangements for their students to attend virtually. 

“If the school can provide classroom space for interns to congregate, we will connect that classroom to our own classroom on the CRYP campus, and to instructor Joe Elia,” Widow explained. “We want this internship to be available to everyone who wishes to participate, and we’re eager to connect with high school students who are already expressing interest in writing.” 

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 And, to stay up to date on the latest CRYP news and events, follow the youth project on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.

The Cheyenne River Youth Project is dedicated to giving our Lakota youth and families access to the culturally relevant, enriching, and enduring opportunities we need to build stronger, healthier communities and a more vibrant future together.