Clara Caufield: Northern Cheyenne grocery store hit by robbers

A view of the Lame Deer IGA in Lame Deer, Montana. Photo from Montana State University

Meth robberies of Northern Cheyenne stores
By Clara Caufield
A Cheyenne Voice

Lame Deer, Montana, has only one grocery store, the Lame Deer IGA which provides sustenance and food to the entire reservation community, mostly low-income, that is, the “poor folks” who purchase food with EBT cards (food stamps). That store was recently robbed to the tune of many thousands of dollars (estimated at $50,000) in what could be a crippling event

The Lame Deer IGA is owned by Donna Hurff, a Northern Cheyenne tribal member who has worked for many years – indeed slaved – to make that business successful with considerable investment. The Lame Deer IGA employs about 50 people, primarily tribal members. As another tribal member recently remarked, “those employees are learning a very important work ethic and customer service skills. They always greet me with a smile and are very happy to carry my grocery bags.”

Shortly before the robbery, Donna told A Cheyenne Voice. “We are feeling the pinch of Walmart. Yet, I hate to lay them off or cut their hours during the holiday season, the worst time to do that.”

The day before Thanksgiving is a big shopping day as all of us are compelled to celebrate that dubious holiday, bringing the IGA store much cash on hand, most of which goes to pay for re-stocking. On that same evening, after closing, it was robbed, a suspected “inside” job; the intruders gaining access with a security code; then compromising security cameras and alarm systems and getting away with tens of thousands of dollars and other easily traded merchandise (Pendleton blankets, star quilts, jewelry etc.).

The robbers apparently cut the phone lines, essential for credit card and EBT transactions, which is why the Lame Deer IGA, for several days after, waiting upon telephone repair only could only accept cash. Thus, the robbers also reached out and touched a majority of the community who rely upon EBT transactions.

Read the rest of the story on the all new Native Sun News website: Meth robberies of Northern Cheyenne stores

(Clara Caufield can be reached at

Copyright permission Native Sun News

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