Cheyenne River Youth Project
In partnership with Red Nation Enterprises and the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe’s Youth Affairs and Indian Child Welfare (ICWA) programs, the Cheyenne River Youth Project hosted the BallOut Youth Basketball Tournament on Saturday, May 7. The free event, held in Cheyenne River Youth Project’s Čhókata Wičhóni gymnasium, incorporated a skills challenge for grades 3-12 and a draft-style 3-on-3 tournament for grades 6-12.
According to Jerica Widow, Cheyenne River Youth Project’s programs director, the success of the event speaks to the strength of the nonprofit youth organization’s partnerships within the Cheyenne River community. She noted that the BallOut tournament, which attracted 55 youth participants, would not have been possible without those partnerships.
“Philámayeye to Ryan Moran with Red Nation Enterprises for his hard work putting this together, the CRST Youth Affairs program for sponsoring the T-shirts, and the tribe’s Indian Child Welfare program for assisting with food and awards,” Widow said.
At 2 p.m., the youth project staff provided all participants and spectators with a free community meal. The menu included sloppy Joes, hot dogs, and fresh salad.
“When I think about that day, I think, Anpetu ki le iyuskinyan unpo,” Widow reflected. “That means, ‘Today, be happy’ in Lakota. It’s been more than two years since we had our gym open and young people playing ball in it.
“My heart was so happy for them, because it’s been a long time coming,” she continued. “Physical activity and coming together with friends are both so important for all-around wellness — this was a great day for the kids, for our team, and for our community.”
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 www.lakotayouth.org. And, to stay up to date on the latest Cheyenne River Youth Project 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.