Cheyenne Speakers wearing their masks! We hope all of our Speakers near and far are taking precautions during this Pandemic 😷😷 You extremely valued and we need you to be safe! 💙❤️💚💜

Posted by Anthony Whitedirt on Monday, June 22, 2020

Clara Caufield: COVID update from Crow and Cheyenne Country

This is somewhat of an update on what’s going on in Cheyenne and Crow country regarding the dreaded COVID virus. I say somewhat because it difficult to get precise information about the reservation situation.

On one hand, the Montana Governor’s Office issues a daily report on the number of new cases listed by county, age and gender, not specifically by race. For quite some time, Big Horn County was a “hot spot”, speculation being that it was worst in Lodge Grass, a Crow community.

Loosely confirmed by the moccasin telegraph, it's nearby the Cheyenne reservation boundary -- us all friends, neighbors and relatives. Big Horn County contains most of the Crow Reservation and about half of Northern Cheyenne.

The other half of the Cheyenne reservation is located in Rosebud County, a vast sprawling area, the reservation only a part of it. Until recently no cases were reported for Rosebud County, but now there have been two deaths and one confirmed case on the Reservation (currently on quarantine).


Posted by Crow Tribe of Indians on Thursday, July 2, 2020

The Northern Cheyenne Tribe has been very proactive on dealing with the virus. An initial community lockdown, curfew, etc. have been lifted, though according to a memo posted on Northern there is a mandatory 6:00 pm curfew for those under age 18. The warrior society members, now largely accepted as the new reservation security guards still maintain their camp working proactively to enforce the tribal directives, even when it personally affects the Tribal President’s grandchildren. Sadly, one of their main services has been providing firewood for the traditional wake fires, as there continue to be many untimely deaths on the reservation, though not COVID related.

In mid-June with the assistance of the State and National Guard testing was held in Lame Deer and some outlying districts, those participating receiving a $20 gift card from one of several reservation businesses (a shot in the arm they must have needed) and a sumptuous catered lunch from Famous Dave’s, Billings. Although a small percentage of the tests were not readable by labs, the vast majority were negative.

Chief Dull Knife College which received CARES Act Funding has re-opened, expecting 40 students, but 146 showed up, including non-Indians from nearby communities who take advantage of the free summer tuition. The college will spend the money in three primary ways: 150 laptops which will be loaned to students in need of one, due to the long-distance learning; installing additional sites where the internet can be accessed and a free daily lunch to students, faculty and staff, at least through the fall, a cost projected at $35,000.

It is not as clear what the Tribe will do with its CARES Act funding. Earlier reports confirmed by tribal front-office staff that a per capita will be issued were apparently premature, as that option has seemingly been shelved.


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Read the rest of the story on Native Sun News Today: COVID Update from Crow and Cheyenne Country

Clara Caufield can be reached at

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