EAGLE BUTTE, SD – Each year, the Cheyenne River Youth Project (CRYP) hosts a star quilt raffle to help support its annual Wo Otúh’an Wi Toy Drive. Every raffle ticket purchase will help bring holiday joy to hundreds of Lakota children on the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation later this month.
The raffle runs through Thursday, Dec. 29., and CRYP staff will announce the winner via Facebook Live on Friday, Dec. 30.
The star quilt raffle raises funds for the non-profit youth organization’s longest-running program and shines a spotlight on traditional Lakota art and an acclaimed Cheyenne River artist. This year’s quilt, called “Winter Sunrise,” was hand-crafted by tribal member Bonnie LeBeaux.
“This year’s quilt reflects the gentle, otherworldly hues of winter sunrise in the heart of our Great Plains homelands,” said Julie Garreau, CRYP’s Executive Director. “We look forward to showcasing Bonnie’s beautiful work every year. For Lakota people, art isn’t just art. It’s our culture, it’s our life, it’s a fundamental part of who we are. And there is no better way to share our culture with others than through our traditional Lakota art.”
For the Lakota, Dakota, and Nakota peoples of the Oceti Sakowin Oyate (Seven Council Fires) star quilts are valued gifts given to commemorate special occasions. The star pattern comes from early buffalo robe designs.
Funds raised through raffle ticket sales will directly benefit CRYP’s Wo Otúh’an Wi Toy Drive, which began in 1990 and now serves more than 1,000 children in 20 communities across the 2.8 million-acre reservation. Wo Otúh’an Wi means “Moon of Giving Away Presents” in the Lakota language.
“At its heart, our toy drive has always been about generosity and caring for others, which our deeply held Lakota values,” said Garreau. “Our toy drive is one more way in which we live Wólakȟota, in keeping with our sacred way of life, so our relatives may thrive.
For more information on CRYP’s Wo Otúh’an Wi Toy Drive, visit lakotayouth.org/win-a-star-quilt.