The Cheyenne River Youth Project is preparing to launch its sixth teen internship program in Eagle Butte. Applications are now available for the new Wíyukačanyan Wówawičhakhiyapi (Creative Writing) internship, which will officially kick off in March.

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 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 such as Leslie Marmon Silko, Joy Harjo, and Sterling HolyWhiteMountain, 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.

Applications are now available at the CRYP office in the Čhókata Wićhóni 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.

“We’re asking all applicants to tell us why they wish to participate, what they hope to gain from the internship, how much writing they’ve done to date, and why they would make a good candidate,” Widow advised. “This internship is for all skill levels; we simply need to get an idea of where everyone is, so we can tailor the coursework appropriately.”

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.