Indianz.Com > News > Clara Caufield: Northern Cheyenne Tribe hit hard by coronavirus
Posted by Northern Cheyenne Incident Command Center on Sunday, March 22, 2020
COVID-19 devastates Northern Cheyenne
Native Sun News Today Correspondent
Note: Copyright permission Native Sun News Today

LAME DEER, Montana – We are all tired of hearing COVID-19 news and earlier I vowed to leave that writing to others in favor of more positive thoughts.

But, the reality is there is very little good news emanating from the Northern Cheyenne Reservation right now. And there has not been for a long time as the COVID-19 virus has it’s hooks deeply set on our rurally isolated Montana Reservation.

There are about 12,000 enrolled members, but the on-reservation population is roughly 5,000. At latest report about 350 people have tested positive and the death toll is about 25, not all COVID related. This all within the past few weeks to a month.

Covid 19 Update Northern Cheyenne Nation 9/29/2020 as of 7:00pm 238 active cases 9 individuals hospitalized (4 of the…

Posted by Lane Spotted Elk- Northern Cheyenne Tribal Council on Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Perhaps the subject is more on my mind because my 85 year old mother recently succumbed to the virus after a short struggle, leaving many of my immediate family members “positive and now under quarantine” and my best friend is in the same boat. While the disease does not have age preference, even attacking little children, it is in nearly every case a death sentence for the elderly and those with underlying health conditions. We have already lost many of the core group of elders who hold us together.

The only good news is that several tribal members have recovered/survived, with after-effects yet to be fully seen. Yet Rosebud County and Big Horn County continue to be hot spots as are other Montana counties on and near other Reservations.

But in the meantime, every single family on the reservation has been affected. It is one thing to read that America has over 200,000 COVID deaths; it is entirely another to put a name and a face to 25 of them. That’s when the threat becomes more real, downright scary and sorrowful. We are all grieving.

The Cheyenne, indeed all Indian people in America, are no strangers to diseases brought to them by the white man and many of these have had disastrous consequences for our people.


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Clara Caufield can be reached at

Note: Copyright permission Native Sun News Today