Julie Garreau is a member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe and is the executive director of the Cheyenne River Youth Project. Julie has been CRYP’s director since the organization’s 1988 inception, volunteering in the position for 12 years. She began working for the organization full-time in 2000. 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 and the Ċokata Wiċoni teen center for youth ages 13-18. 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 youth programming.
A graduate of South Dakota’s Huron University, Julie was the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe’s education services specialist for 15 years, and during that time she served for five years on the CRST Police Commission – three of those years as chairperson. She also has served as a field coordinator for Running Strong for American Indian Youth®, a national not-for-profit organization that is an important CRYP partner.
In her nearly two decades with CRYP, Julie has received the South Dakota Volunteer of the Year Award (1992), presented by Governor George Mickelson; the Presidential Points of Light Award (1993), presented by President George H.W. Bush; 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); and the Spirit of Dakota Award (2009).
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 Running Strong for American Indian Youth’s National Honorary Advisory Board from 1998 to 2000, and 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, and in 2012, she became a Bush Foundation Native Nations Rebuilders Fellow. She was appointed to the South Dakota Commission for National and Community Service by Governor Dennis Daugaard in 2011 and continues to serve in that capacity today; and, she is a member of the South Dakota Attorney General’s Indian Advisory Council.
That’s not all. Julie has held a seat on the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Advisory Council from 2007 to the present, and in 2014, she became a founding member of the Native American Food Systems Alliance. Also in 2014, she established the farm-to-table Keya Cafe and Gift Shop in CRYP’s Cokata Wiconi teen center and continues to spearhead sustainable agriculture initiatives through the youth project’s 2-acre, naturally grown Winyan Toka Win garden. Most recently, she and her staff launched the innovative, ground-breaking Waniyetu Wowapi Graffiti and Street Art Park at the CRYP campus.