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Native American Teens Embrace Beautification Efforts and Expressing Themselves

Native American students help beautify their city of Eagle Butte, South Dakota with freshly painted trash cans adorned with their original artwork.

Native American teenagers participating in the Cheyenne River Youth Project’s (CRYP) Youth Leaders in Service program have been busy beautifying the city of Eagle Butte, South Dakota by painting the city’s trash cans.

“Most of the cans will be at the public playground and park, and at the baseball field at the end of town,” explained Whitney Clapp, CRYP’s youth programs assistant, in a release. “It’s been a time-consuming project, from cleaning and priming the cans to drawing the designs in our art studio and then actually doing the paint work, but we took our time, did it right and had a lot of fun in the process.”

James Garner in character on the set of 'Bret Maverick' in 1982. AP Photo/Wally Fong

James Garner in character on the set of 'Bret Maverick' in 1982. AP Photo/Wally Fong

The artwork on each can is unique and was designed by the students in the service program. Some of the designs show an eagle, panda bears, and even the Mario Brothers.

“The kids worked so hard, and everyone’s excited to see the cans adding some color and vitality to our community,” Clapp said.

Aside from sprucing up Eagle Butte, the students launched a blog September 29 at

“The blog is such a great way for the kids to express themselves,” Clapp said. “Being able to communicate in such a public forum also will improve their confidence and critical-thinking skills; we’re really looking forward to seeing how it develops in the coming weeks and months.”

Visit the blog to see more pictures of the trash can project, and for more information about CRYP, call 605-964-8200 or visit