Northern Cheyenne

Bordered by the Tongue River on the east and Crow Reservation to the West, the Northern Cheyenne Reservation is home to just over 5,000 of the approximately 11,000 enrolled tribal members. The Cheyenne Nation is comprised of ten bands, spread over the Great Plains, from southern Colorado to the Black Hills in South Dakota, and the tribe call themselves “Tsis tsis’tas” which means “the beautiful people.” Northern Cheyenne is making considerable strides in business and entrepreneurial support and development for their local tribal populations. In 2012, the tribal government created the Northern Cheyenne Business Corporation. After managing only the local Northern Cheyenne Depot gas station, in 2016, the corporation purchased property in Lame Deer and built a small commercial center to encourage local, tribally-owned, business development. The commercial center, Business Incubator, currently houses several businesses, ranging from nail and hair salons to a small t-shirt screening /printing company, a cell-phone shop, office supply store, a tack shop, and a small art gallery.

On July 11, Lt. Governor Cooney, Jason Smith, Director of Governor’s Office of Indian Affairs, Tara Rice, Director of Depart. of Commerce, Ken Fichtler, Chief Business Development Officer of Governor’s Office of Economic Development and Elisa Fiaschetti, Governor’s Office of Economic Development, met with stakeholders from the Northern Cheyenne Tribe to discuss the community’s accomplishments and successes, as well as their challenges and roadblock

Rural Partners Highlights

During the Rural Partners visit we discussed priorities, and the challenges and opportunities to reaching these priorities were identified and discussed. These included:

  • Renewable Energy
  • Business Development
  • Infrastructure
  • Opportunity Zones
  • Highway 212
  • Broadband
  • Childcare

As a follow-up to the July visit, Rural Partners has continued to work with the tribe to make appropriate connections, provide resources, and identify potential next steps. In the meeting notes, there are also a number of resources and examples to provide assistance and may be helpful to advance projects.