Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Eagle Butte
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CRYP hosts premiere of documentary Lakota in America highlighting CRYP support of youth

Square highlights small businesses and organizations in Dreams documentary series

In an honor line at the CRYP Teen Center gym where the premiere for the documentary Lakota in America was presented to community members, Jack Dorsey, co-founder and CEO of Square and Twitter, and Genevieve Iron Lightning, C-EB student and CRST tribal member, shake hands after CRYP Director Julie Garreau gifted Dorsey with a star quilt made by CRST member Bonnie Lebeau. The documentary can be accessed at squareup.com/dreams. Photo by Jody Rust

In America, many relationships begin and end with a handshake.

In Lakota and Indian Country, relationships are sustained with handshakes, which represent one person reaching out to another who reaches back.

Handshakes are greetings, assistance, agreements, honors, appreciation.

Handshakes are community.

On Wed., Sept. 25, community members and visitors shook hands at the premiere of the short documentary Lakota in America, created by the company Square out of California.

The documentary focuses on the accessibility to understanding and operating in the economy that the Cheyenne River Youth Project provides youth living in Eagle Butte and surrounding communities.

“We believe in an economy that has room for everyone’s dreams. Where there’s a shorter distance between having an idea and making a living from it. Where anyone can build what they want to see in the world,” according to a statement on Square’s website. 

CRYP Director Julie Garreau began the internship program at the teen center in 2013 with 10 students and $5,000.

The program will have provided 500 youth with internships by the end of 2017, Garreau said.

“We provide access to resources and how to manage them and technology,” Garreau said in an interview with the CEO of Square, Jack Dorsey, after the presentation of the documentary.

Garreau explained that the internship program also provides students with access to mentors and guides that, among other things, assist students in using technology to grow business.

Square provides technology to small businesses and organizations to make financial transactions simpler and more accessible.

CRYP uses Square products to process financial transactions at the Keya Café, where students learn to work in a food service environment.

While Square is a for-profit business, the documentary is not part of an advertisement campaign.

The film Lakota in America is a part of a series of short documentaries that highlight small business owners who achieved success and used Square products and services as a part of achieving that success.

The original film was made for internal use, to be shown at a holiday party, and designed to remind Square employees about who they are as a company — their purpose — which is to provide people with affordable access to the economy, said Demetra Airaudi, spokesperson for Square.

Many community members showed up for the premiere at the teen center. The event coincided with the CYRP Harvest event, and the food was catered by Keya Café/CYRP staff and volunteers, and ingredients came predominantly from the CRYP garden.

The film left many viewers in tears.